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GENEALOGY 

977. eoi 

L13C 


M.L 


REFERENCE 


G£^ 


ALLEN  COUNTY  PUBLIC  LIBRAR' 


3  1833  01800  7176 


GENEALOGY 

977.201 

L13C 


COUNTIES 


OF 


LA  GRANGE  m  NOBLE 


INDIANA. 


HISTORICAL  AND  BIOGRAPHICAL, 


ILLUSO^RA^RD. 


CHICAGO: 


^977- ^7 f 
C  ^3 


F.  A.  BATTEY  &  CO.,   PUBLISHERS. 
1882. 


1427967 

PREFACE. 


THIS  volume  goes  forth  to  our  patrons  the  result  of  months  of  arduous, 
unremitting  and  conscientious  labor.  None  so  well  know  as  those  who 
have  been  associated  with  us  the  almost  insurmountable  difficulties  to  be  met 
with  in  the  preparation  of  a  work  of  this  character.  Since  the  inauguration 
of  the  enterprise,  nearly  one  year  ago,  a  large  force  have  been  employed — both 
local  and  others — in  gathering  material.  During  this  time,  upward  of  three 
thousand  persons  have  been  called  upon  in  the  two  counties,  to  contribute  from 
their  recollections,  carefully  preserved  letters,  scraps  of  manuscript,  printed 
fragments,  memoranda,  etc.  Public  records  and  semi-official  documents  have 
been  searched,  the  newspaper  files  of  the  counties  have  been  overhauled,  and 
former  citizens,  now  living  out  of  the  counties,  have  been  corresponded  with, 
all  for  the  purpose  of  making  the  record  as  complete  as  could  be,  and  for  the 
verification  of  the  information  by  a  conference  with  many.  In  gathering  from 
these  numerous  sources,  both  for  the  historical  and  biographical  departments, 
the  conflicting  statements,  the  discrepancies  and  the  fallible  and  incomplete 
nature  of  public  documents  were  almost  appalling  to  our  historians  and  biog- 
raphers, who  were  expected  to  weave  therefrom  with  any  degree  of  accuracy,  in 
panoramic  review,  a  record  of  events.  Members  of  the  same  families  disagree 
as  to  the  spelling  of  the  family  name,  contradict  each  other's  statements  as  to 
dates  of  births,  of  settlement  in  the  county,  nativity  and  other  matters  of  fact. 
In  this  entangled  condition,  we  have  given  preference  to  the  preponderance  of 
authority,  and  while  we  acknowledge  the  existence  of  errors  and  our  inability 
to  furnish  a  perfect  history,  we  claim  to  have  come  up  to  the  standard  of  our 
promises,  and  given  as  complete  and  accurate  a  work  as  the  nature  of  the  sur- 
roundings would  permit.  Whatever  may  be  the  verdict  of  those  who  do  not 
and  will  not  comprehend  the  difficulties  to  be  met  with,  we  feel  assured  that  all 
just  and  thoughtful  people  will  appreciate  our  eiforts,  and  recognize  the  impor- 
tance of  the  undertaking  and  the  great  public  benefit  that  has  been  accomplished 
in  preserving  the  valuable  historical  matter  of  the  county  and  biographies 
of  many  of  its  citizens,  that  perhaps  would  otherwise  have  passed  into  oblivion. 
To  those  who  have  given  us  their  support  and  encouragement,  and  they  are 
many,  we  acknowledge  our  gratitude,  and  can  assure  them  that  as  years  go  by 
the  book  will  grow  in  value  as  a  repository  not  only  of  pleasing  reading  matter, 
but  of  treasured  information  of  the  past,  that  becomes  a  monument  more  en- 
during than  marble. 

JVIay,  1882.  THE  PUBLISHERS. 


conte:nts 


PART   I.— HISTORY  OF   LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 


CHAPTER  I.  PAGE. 

Agricultural  Society 20 

Census  Returns 24 

Fauna 17 

Geological  Formation 14,  25 

Indiana,  Early 17 

Lakes 13 

Mastodon  Rpniains 15 

Mound-Biiilders 28 

Physical  Features 11 

Resources 16 

Rivers  and  Creeks 12 

Statistics 21 

White  Men,  The  First 11 

CHAPTER  11. 

Annual  Expenditures 57 

C.  ngressional  Representation 57 

County  CommissionHrs,  First 32 

County  Officers,  The  First 55 

Courts,  The  First 33 

Elections,  Presidential 54 

Lawyers,  Early 46 

Murder  Trial,  The  First 36 

Organization  of  County 32 

Physicians,  Early 47 

Public  Buildings 37 

Senators  and  Roiiresentatives 56 

Valuation  and  Taxation 58 

CHAPTER  III. 

Churches,  Early 66 

Fourierisni 68 

Insurance,  Home 80 

Newspaper  History 76 

Post  Offices 65 

Preaching,  The  First 66 

Railroads 64 

Regulators  and  Rangers 81 

Roads  and  Routes 62 

Schools  and  Education 73 

School  Statistics 74 

Secret  Societies 79 

CHAPTER  IV. 

Call  for  Troops.  First x4 

Companies  and  Campaigns 101 

Draft,  The 95 

Roll  of  Honor 103 

Soldiers,  Early 83, 110 

Soldiers  of  the  Late  War 84 


TowuMhi})  Histories. 

CHAPTER  V. 

Town  of  La  Grange Ill 

Buildings,  Progress  of. 113 

Business  Enterprises 115, 119 

Ceme  eries 125 

Churches  and  Pastors 122 

Educational 120 

Original  Gnint  of  Site 112 

Physicians,  The  First 114 

Plat  of  Town Ill 

Secret  Societies 116 


CHAPTER  VI.  PAGE.  I 

Bloomfield  Township 126  ; 

Boundaries  and  Features 126 

Bloomfield  Village 133 

Burlington  Village 132  i 

Civil  Officers,  First 132  ! 

Church  History 133  ' 

Hill's  Corners 133 

Industries,  Early 131 

Inhabitants,  The  First 129 

Marriag^  First 132  : 

School  Interests 133 

CHAPTER   VIL  ' 

Lima  Township 135  ' 

Churches  aud  Pastors 152 

Hotels,  Postmnsters,  Phy8iciansl42 

Industries 142 

Indians 137 

La  Grange  Bank 145  1 

La  Grange  Collegiate  Institute. 150 

Land  Entries 139  \ 

Merchants  of  Lima 140  ] 

Ontario  Village 145  ! 

Pioneers 135  ' 

• 148  ; 


CHAPTER  VIII.  j 

j  Johnson  Township 155 

Churches  and  Pastors 170 

Creation  of  Township 156 

Early  Settlers 155  ! 

Schools  and  Teachers 167 

Traders,  Early 156  ' 

Valentine  Village 161 

Wolcottville 162 

Wright's  Corners 161 

CHAPTER  IX.  i 

Van  Buren  Township 172 

Addie  Dwight  Tragedy 180 

Burial  Grounds 177 

Business  of  Village 183 

Churches 179 

E«rlv  Settlers 174 

Roads 174 

Schools  and  Teachers 179 

Surface  Features 172  \ 

Van  Buren  Village 183  j 

CHAPTER  X.  I 

Eden  TowxtHir 185 

Birth,  First 101  i 

Civil  Officers 189 

Church  Organizations 192 

Haw  Patch  Center 195  , 

Organization  of  Township 188 

Physical  Features 185 

Physicians,  Early 191  I 

Presidential  Election 191  [ 

Regulators,  The 191  i 

School  Organizations 193  | 

Sycamore  Literary  Society 194 

Settlers,  First 185 

Trades  and  Industries 194 


CHAPTER  XI.  PAGE. 

Springfield  Township 196 

Church  Organizations 208 

First  Settler 196 

Gage  and  Langdon  War 197 

Harrison  Campaign 202 

Industries,  Early 201 

Mongoquinong 196,203 

Organization  of  Township 203 

Schoolhouses 207 

Springfield  Village 204 

Settlers,  Early 198 

Trade,  Eariy 196 

Union  Hall 209 

CHAPTER  XII. 

Cleaerpring  Township 210 

Civil  Officers 214 

Churches 219 

Mills,  Eariy 212 

Organization  of  Township 214 

Patrons  of  Husbandry 217 

Removal  of  Indims 213 

Roads 218 

Schools 218 

Settlers,  First 210 

CHAPTER  XIIL 

Greenfield  Township 220 

Birth,  First 229 

Churches 231 

Industries,  First 225 

Lexington  Village 226 

Origin  of  Name 225 

Schools 229 

Settlers,  First 222 

Vistula  Village 226 

CHAPTER  XIV. 

Newbuet  Township 233 

Amish  .-^Pttlement 240 

Civil  Officers 239 

Churches 241 

Justices  of  the  Peace 239 

Lakes  and  Rivers 233 

Mill,  The  First 234 

Organization  of  Township 2.33 

Pashan  Post  Office 241 

Schotlhonses 2;^6 

Settlers,  The  Early 234 

Trading 236 

CHAPTER  XV. 

Milfoed  Township 242 

Churches  and  Pastors 254 

Hunting  Experiences 246 

Mills,  The  Early 2-'.^ 

Mud  Cornei-8  Viil»ge 262 

Organization  cf  Township 245 

Pioneers,  The 242 

Regulators,  The 248 

Schools 253 

South  Milford  Village 252 

Ucderground  Railroad 248 


CONTENTS. 


CHA^PTER  XVI.  PAOB. 

CtAT  Township 255 

Appalling  Accident 264 

Birth,  The  First 256 

Churches 264 

Destructive  Fire 263 

Early  Schools 259,  260,  265 

Justices  of  the  Peace 266 

Mill,  The  First 255 

Murder 264 

Schoolhouses 265 

Sickly  Season 259 

Settlers,  The  First. 256,  259 

Trade  and  Industry 263 


Bio^raptiical  Sketches. 

Bloomfield  Township 293 

Clay  Township 425 

Clearspring  Township. 379 


FAOB. 

Eden  Township 355 

Greenfield  Township 388 

Johnson  Township 326 

La  Grange,  Town  of. 267 

Lima  Township 310 

Milford  Township 408 

Newbury  Township 400 

Springfield  Township 362 

Van  Buren  Township 343 

Por  trai  ts. 

Blackmun,  A 59 

Bradford,  Samuel  P 29 

Calahan,  Ami 175 

Case,  Zopher 165 

Cochran,  Charles 249 

Craue,  S.  D 137 

Dancer,  Dr.  John 107 

Davis,  Hezekiah 233 


PAOB. 

Davis,  Mrs.  Hezekiah 237 

Goodsell,  Mynott 243 

Holsinger,  John 127 

Hooley,  Chris 215 

Hopkins,  Fleming 227 

Kent,Orvin .199 

Kent,  Mrs.  Orvin 205 

Mills,  Jacob 159 

Niman,  Dr.  J.  P 117 

Peck,  Burton 221 

Berick,  Dr.  J.  H 69 

Shepardson,  Samuel .39 

Sidener,  Nicholas 181. 

Strickland,  Matthew 257 

TaylOT,  0.  B 87 

Wildman,  L.  L 97 

Views. 

Court  House,  La  Grange  County....  19 
Jail,  La  Grange  County 49 


PART  II.-HISTORY  OF  NOBLE  COUNTY. 


CHAPTER   I.  PAGE. 

Geology 5 

Indian  History 19 

Indian  Mounds 11 

Lakes  and  Ponds 9 

Meteorology 10 

Topography 9 

CHAPTER   IL 

A  Child's  Mysterious  Disappearance  38 

Birth,  The  First 54 

Churches,  The  Early ."54 

County  Buildings 42 

County  Census 39 

County  Oflicer' 44 

County  Organization 27 

County  Seats 41 

Judiciary,  The 47 

Judicial  E.xecution 34 

Land  Entries,  The  Early 28 

Marriage,  The  First 54 

Members  of  the  Bar 48 

Physicians,  The  First 53 

Poor,  The  County 43 

PostOfiSce,  The  First 57 

Settlement,  The  First 27 

State  Canal 32 

Suffering  in  1838 Si 

Thieves  and  Counterfeiters 33 

Valuation  and  Taxes 40 

CHAPTER   III. 
Agricultural  and  Historical  Society  62 

Early  Roads  and  Routes 57 

Execution  of  McDougal 72 

Journals  and  Journalists 74 

Newspaper,  The  First 74 

Outlaws  and  Criminals 63 

Railroads 60 

Regulators,  The 69 

CHAPTER  IV. 

Career  of  Regiments 107 

Death  of  Lincoln 106 

Draft  Statistics 99 

Fall  of  Sumter 89 

Republican  Convention  of  1864 104 

Roll  of  Honor 110 

Soldiers  of  Early  Wars..-. 87 

War  Meetings  and  Speeches 89 

War  Statistics 115 

Townsliiip  Histories. 

CHAPTER   V. 

City  of  Kenballville 116 

Banks 123 

Business  Development 120 

Church  Organizations 130 


PAGE. 

Conflagrations 123 

Election,  The  First 122 

Incorporation 122 

Origin  of  Name 120 

Railroad  Subscription 124 

Schoolhouses 129 

Settlement,  The  First 119 

CHAPTER  VI. 

Wayne  Township IH 

Birth,  The  First 139 

Churches 142 

Log  Rolling  and  Whisky 139 

Mills,  The  Early 140 

Scarcity  of  Cash 141 

Scbooldouses 141 

Settlers,  The  First 135 

CHAPTER  VII. 

Town  of  Ligonier 145 

Building  and  Loan  Association. .148 

Church  Organizations 153 

Destructive  Fire 148 

Early  Development 146 

High  School 150 

Interesting  Statistics 1.57 

Revivals 156 

School  Buildings 148 

Sons  of  Temperance 147 

Town  Plat...  145 

CHAPTER  VIIL 

Perry  Township 161 

Bourie's  Reminiscences 164 

First  Election 162 

Rochester  Village 163 

Roll  of  Settlers 161 

Saw-Mills,  The  First 163 

Schools  and  (.hurches 167 

CHAPTER  IX. 

Town  of  Albion 168 

Business  Men,  The  Early 170 

Church  Societies 180 

Early  Laud  Entries 168 

Incorporation 176 

Plat  of  the  Town  169 

Schools 177 

Secret  Orders 175 

Table  of  Fires 182 

Town  Funding  Bonds 179 

CHAPTER  X. 

Jefferson  Township 183 

Agricultural  Features 192 

Burial  Grounds 193 

Death,  The  First 193 

Indian  Mounds 191 


PAGE. 

Mills  and  Milling 186 

Pioneer  Life 184 

Population 191 

Schools  and  Teachers 187 

Sermons  and  Churches 187 

Township  Organization 186 

Township  Pioneers 183 

CHAPTER  XI. 

Orange  Township 194 

Brimfield  Village 203 

Church  Organizitions k04 

Island  Park  Assembly 206 

Land  Owners,  The  Early 194 

Mills,  The  Early 196 

Northport  Village 197 

Rome  City 198 

Water  Power  at  Rome 202 

CHAPTER   XII. 

Allen  Township ' i08 

Avilla's  First  House 214 

Churches,  The  Early 217 

Deaths,  The  Early 211 

Election,  The  First 211 

Franciscan  Convent 218 

Hunting  Reminiscences 214 

Incorporation  of  Avilla 216 

Industries  and  Improvements..212 

Marriage,  The  First 211 

Roll  of  Early  Settlers 208 

Schoolhouse,  The  First 268 

Underground  Railroad 216 

White  Settler,  The  First 208 

CHAPTER  XIII. 

Elkhart  Township 221 

Early  Settlers,  List  of. 223 

Pittsburg  Village 225 

Religious  Development 228 

Schools  and  Teachers 227 

Settlers,  the  First 221 

Springfield  Village 225 

Wawaka  Village 226 

CHAPTER  XIV. 

Sparta  Township 231 

Church  Organizations 241 

Cromwell  Village 236 

Election,  First 233 

Mills  and  Kilns 234 

Pioneer  Experiences 232 

Roll  of  Settlers 231 

Schools  and  Teachers 237 

Sparta  Village 235 


CONTENTS. 


VU 


CHAPTEB  XV.  PAGE. 

Noble  Township 242 

Church  Societies 253 

Indiana 245 

Milling  Enterprises 245 

Nobleville   City 251 

Koll  of  Pioneers 243 

Schools  and  Teachers 252 

White  Settler,  First 242 

Wolf  Lake  Village 247 

CHAPTER  XVI. 

YoEK  Township 254 

Augusta  Village 258 

Catalogue  of  Settlers 255 

Election,  First 266 

Lite  in  the  Wilderness 256 

Mills,  First 255 

Pioneers,  The 254 

Port  Mitchell  Village 262 

Schools  and  Teachers 263 

Van  Buren  Village 258 

CHAPTER  XVII. 

Gbeen  Township 266 

"  Canalers,"  The 271 

Fatal  Casualty 271 

Hunting  Experiences 267 

Mills  and  Trade 272 

Religious  Societies 276 

Schools  and  Tutors 273 

Settlers,  First 266 

CHAPTER  XVIII. 

Swan  Township 277 

Early  Settlement 277 

First  Election 281 

First  Preaching 285 

Hunting  Exploits 278 

La  Otto  Village 284 


PAGE. 

Marriage,  First 282 

Schools  and  Teachers 286 

Swan  Village 283 

Trade  and  TraflBc 282 

CHAPTER  XIX. 

Washington  Township 287 

Bears  and  Other  Beaets 291 

Birth,  First 288 

Election,  First 288 

Fish  Stories 292 

Marriage  and  Death,  First 288 

Religious  Societies 294 

Roop  and  Other  Pioneers 287 

Saw-Mill,  First 291 

Schools 293 

Biogrrapliical  Sketches. 

Albion,  Town  of 363 

Allen  Township 415 

Elkhart  Township 437 

Green  Townbhip 478 

Jefi'ereon  Township 381 

Kendallville,  City  of. 297 

Ligonier,  Town  of. 332 

Noble  Township 467 

Orange  Township 399 

Perry  Township 354 

Sparta  Township 450 

Swan  Township 489 

Washington  Township 499 

Wayne  Township 319 

York  Township 467 

Portraits. 

Alvord,  Samuel 35 

Bowman,  John 45 

Bowman,  Mrs.  Mary 55 

Calbeck,  Joseph 230 


PAGE. 

Clapp,  William  M 16 

Eamhart,  John 239 

Fisher,  Eden  H 199 

Foster,  Jehu 184 

Gerber,  E.  B 151 

Hall,  William  J 321 

Hall,  Lucinda 322 

Keehn,  George 165 

Kimmell,  Orlando 65 

Kiser,  Jacob 234 

Kiser,  William  S 173 

Lang,  Julius 75 

Lash,  James  J 178 

Mitchell,  John 117 

Mitchell,  William 85 

Ott,  Abraham 249 

Ott,  George 276 

Pancake,  John ,...220 

Prentiss,  Nelson 8 

Reed,  L.  N 131 

Shifaly,  John 327 

Singrey,  John  A 189 

Stanley,  H.  C 269 

Stewart,  James  C 244 

Teal,  Norman 125 

Tousley,  Hiram  S 25 

Vanderford,  Joel 95 

Vanderford,  Mrs.  Joel 101 

Voris,  W.  N 289 

Walker,  John 259 

Weston,  Thomas  B 137 

Weston,  Catherine 143 

Wolf,  Jacob 159 

Zimmerman,  John 224 


Views. 

Court  House,  Noble  County 4 

Infirmary,  Noble  County 279 

Jail,  Noble  County 209 


Addendum. — Mr.  J.  M.  Weaver,  father  of  Charles  E.  Weaver,  Clay  Township,  was  born  in 
Richland  Co.,  Ohio,  in  1827.  Mrs.  Mary  A.  (Charles)  Weaver  was  born  in  Mifflin,  Ashland  Co., 
Ohio,  in  1831.     (See  page  441,  Part  I.) 


PART  I. 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 


C  HAP  T  E  R    I. 

by  j.  h.  kerick,  m.  d. 
Physical    Features  —Economic    Questions  —  Geology— Agriculture  —The 
County  Lakes— The  Drift  Deposit— Bones  of  the  Mastodon— The  In- 
dians AND  the  Mound-Builders— The  County  Fair— Principal  Agri- 
cultural Productions— County  Census  of  1880. 

npHE  history  of  the  white  man  in  Northern  Indiana  opens  at  an  Indian  village 
-L  at  the  head-waters  of  the  Maumee  River,  Kekionga,  now  the  city  of  Fort 
Wayne,  about  the  year  1676.  The  Indian  tradition  is  that  one  of  the  mission- 
aries from  St.  Joseph,  on  Lake  Michigan,  came  to  Kekionga  about  that  time. 
The  route  of  this  Frenchman,  in  all  probability,  was  up  the  St.  Joseph  River 
to  points  where  are  now  White  Pigeon,  or  Three  Rivers,  and  thence  across  the 
country  to  Kekionga.  If  he  took  this,  his  most  convenient  route,  he  passed 
through  the  territory  now  embraced  in  La  Grange  County,  and  was,  in  all  prob- 
ability, the  first  white  man  to  tread  its  soil.  The  famous  La  Salle  followed  him 
about  four  years  after  going  there,  over  the  same  route.  This  theory  being  true, 
a  messenger  of  peace  and  good  will  was  the  first  herald  of  American  civilization 
to  tread  the  soil  of  Northeastern  Indiana.  A  good  harbinger,  truly,  and  as  true 
in  prophetic  significance  as  good  in  character  !  A  French  fort  was  erected  at 
Kekionga  in  1705,  and  the  place  was  occupied  as  a  military  post  successively 
by  French,  English  and  Americans  until  1819,  when  the  settlements  had  so  in- 
creased and  the  Indians  become  so  peaceable  that  the  military  were  moved  fur- 
ther West.  It  is  not  improbable  that  during  this  interval  of  over  150  years, 
white  men,  either  missionary,  trader  or  hunter,  wandered  through  the  forests  of 
La  Grange. 

In  the  allotment  of  territory  to  the  counties  of  the  northeast,  La  Grange 
County,  being  on  the  outside,  has  been  crowded  to  the  Michigan  line,  and 
consequently  has  hardly  three  full  tiers  of  Congressional  Townships.  The 
county  might  have  been  much  more  extensive  to  the  north  had  the  Indiana 
boundary  line  been  so  located  as  to  include  territory  in  the  same  liberal  man- 


12  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

ner  in  which  Ohio  arranged  its  boundaries.  But  this  was  not  done,  and  it 
was  a  hard  fight  to  keep  what  there  is  of  La  Grange  County,  when,  in  1834, 
Michigan  demanded  a  "  rectification  of  her  frontier."  She  asked  a  strip  ten 
miles  wide  off  of  Northern  Indiana,  but  was  ultimately  satisfied  by  the  cession 
to  her  of  the  Northern  Peninsula,  the  Lake  Superior  Region.  The  south- 
ern and  middle  townships  have  been  organized  and  named  with  the  boundaries 
as  fixed  by  the  United  States  survey  for  Congressional  Townships.  But  the 
upper  tier,  being  cut  down  by  the  State  boundary  line  to  a  width  of  only  four 
miles  and  two-thirds,  has  been  divided  into  but  three  townships.  Beginning  at 
the  northeast,  these  ar-e  Greenfield,  Lima  and  Van  Buren,  the  first  and  last 
nine  miles  in  length,  and  the  second,  the  richest  in  the  county,  but  six  miles  in 
length.  The  middle  tier  of  townships  follow  in  the  usual  order  of  description 
from  west  to  east,  Newbury,  Clay,  Bloomfield,  Springfield ;  and  the  southern 
tier,  Milford,  Johnson,  Clearspring,  and  lastly  Eden. 

Thus  the  381  square  miles  of  territory  are  divided  into  eleven  civil  town- 
ships. The  county  takes  its  name  from  the  country  residence  of  the  distin- 
guished Frenchman  so  dear  to  Americans,  La  Fayette  ;  and  of  the  townships, 
three  are  given  personal  names,  three  borrow  a  geographical  title,  four  are 
named  appropriately,  and  Eden  belongs  to  the  latter  class,  according  to  the  best 
authorities. 

Let  the  reader  suppose  himself  upon  an  elevation — which,  however,  is  a 
severe  task  for  the  imagination  in  Northern  Indiana — rather  let  him  fancy  a 
position  in  a  comfortable  balloon  at  such  a  height  above  La  Grange,  the  center  of 
the  county,  as  to  sweep  the  whole  county  and  obtain  a  comprehensive  view  of 
its  256,000  "broad  acres.  "  The  surface  is  nearly  level — for  miles  on  the  prai- 
ries of  Lima  and  in  Greenfield  it  is  perfectly  so.  In  Bloomfield,  the  rolling 
country  reaches  enough  of  an  elevation  at  one  place  to  receive  the  name  of  the 
"Knobs."  In  western  Clay  there  is  a  beautiful  mingling  of  lowlands  and 
wooded  hills,  and  away  in  the  northwest  a  group  of  blue,  white  sand-ringed 
lakes  lie  among  the  blufis,  which  sink  away  into  the  prairies  of  Michigan. 

The  prairies  have  an  attractiveness  of  their  own,  the  broken  land  has  its 
variety,  and  altogether  there  is  a  diversity  and  beauty  in  the  landscape. 

The  only  considerable  stream  is  Pigeon  River,  which  flows  through  the 
county  northwesterly,  and  receives  most  of  the  creeks  which  arise  in  its  limits. 
The  most  important  of  these  are  Turkey  Creek  in  Milford  and  Springfield,  Fly 
Creek  in  the  central  part,  and  in  the  west  Buck  Creek  and  Shipshewana,  all  of 
them  inconsiderable  and  threatening  not  to  "  flow  on  forever."  The  south  and 
southwest  are  drained  into  the  Elkhart  River,  the  main  branch  of  which  has  its 
head-waters  in  Johnson  Township.  The  Little  Elkhart  rises  in  the  marshes  of 
the  west.  But  all  these  streams  are  tributaries  of  the  St.  Joseph,  which  car- 
ries their  waters  to  Lake  Michigan.  In  each  township  of  the  north  another 
stream.  Crooked  Creek,  runs  down  into  the  county  and  back  again  into  Michi- 
gan ;  in  Van  Buren  Township,  forming  the  "  Island." 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  13 

From  this  it  will  be  seen  that  the  county  lies  wholly  within  the  St.  Lawrence 
basin.  But  a  tributary  of  the  Wabash,  marking  the  edge  of  the  Mississippi 
basin,  rises  within  three  miles  of  the  southeast  corner  of  the  county,  so  that  it 
is  very  near  the  water-shed  of  these  two  great  systems.  The  altitude  of  the 
county  is  on  an  average  over  nine  hundred  feet  above  the  level  of  the  ocean, 
and  four  hundred  above  Lake  Erie.  The  altitude  of  the  Grand  Rapids  &  Indi- 
ana Railway  is  959  feet  at  Wolcottville  ;  at  Valentine,  973 ;  La  Grange,  927  ; 
Lima,  897  ;  State  line,  889.  The  altitude  in  the  southeast  is  a  little  over 
1,000  feet  above  the  sea.  In  the  northwest,  on  the  low  lands,  the  altitude  is 
800  feet  approximately.  As  the  highest  point  in  the  State  has  an  altitude  of 
only  1,233  feet,  it  will  be  seen  that  La  Grange  is  "  near  the  top."  There  is  no 
higher  land  in  Northern  Indiana  except  the  "  divides  "  of  Noble  and  Steuben 
Counties,  which  exceed  it  by  but  a  few  feet. 

The  lakes,  of  which  there  are  thirty-five,  of  all  areas,  from  two  or  three  to 
500  or  600  acres,  are  the  most  attractive  natural  features  of  the  county.  Oa 
the  prairie  land  of  the  north,  there  are  comparatively  few,  but  these  are  the 
finest  small  bodies  of  water  in  the  region.  We  refer  to  Wall,  Cedar,  Twin  and 
Stone  Lakes,  which  mark  the  boundary  lines  of  the  three  northern  townships. 
South  of  these,  to  the  west,  the  only  lake  of  any  importance  is  Shipshewana, 
the  largest  of  those  finding  an  outlet  in  Pigeon  River.  No  lakes  of  more  thaa 
forty  acres  lie  wholly  in  Clay,  Eden  and  Clearspring.  Bloomfield  has  one 
grassy  sheet  of  water.  Fish  Lake.  Springfield  has  three  similar  bodies,  and 
shares  Grass  Lake  with  Greenfield.  A  large  group  of  lakes  in  Milford  forms 
the  source  of  Turkey  Creek.  A  portion  of  Turkey  Lake  lies  in  this  township. 
Little  Turkey  Lake,  Pretty  Lake,  of  some  300  acres,  and  Long  Lake,  tvve 
miles  long  and  one-half  mile  broad.  Lake  of  the  Woods  is  the  other  large  lake 
in  this  group.  Blackmun  Lake,  in  Milford,  is  the  first  of  the  large  group  which 
makes  Johnson  emphatically  the  lake  township.  These  are,  except  Sloan  Lake 
in  the  north,  drained  into  the  Elkhart  River.  Oliver  Lake,  with  its  appendage^ 
Olen  Lake,  is  the  most  considerable  body  of  water  in  the  county,  covering 
over  six  hundred  acres.  Adams  Lake  has  an  area  of  about  three  hundred  and 
twenty  acres.  Atwood  Lake  covers  about  two  hundred  and  fifty  acres,  while 
the  long,  narrow  stretch  of  water,  some  three  miles  long,  called  Witmer,  West- 
ler.  Third  and  Dallas  Lakes,  occupies  several  hundred  acres.  Still  another 
small  lake,  Nauvoo,  lies  east  of  Wolcottville. 

All  of  these  picturesque  little  lakes,  if  joined  together,  would  only  form  a 
water  area  of  about  seven  square  miles,  but  scattered  about  as  they  are,  with 
beautiful  natural  surroundings,  and  filled  with  fish,  such  as  bass,  pickerel,  perch, 
sunfish,  catfish,  and  the  resort  of  innumerable  feathered  game,  they  are  of  great 
value,  and  a  source  of  much  recreation.  Many  of  the  lakes,  however,  are 
becoming  depopulated  of  their  finny  habitants,  and  every  disciple  of  gentle 
Isaac  Walton  should  urge  some  measure  to  restore  their  former  attractiveness  ia 
this  respect.     The  lakes  are  mainly  found  in  the  higher  lands  and  not  sur- 


14  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

rounded  with  marshy  land  to  a  great  extent.  But  a  much  greater  area  is  occu- 
pied with  swamps  and  marshes.  In  the  western  townships,  Van  Buren,  New- 
bury, Eden,  Clay  and  Clearspring,  are  found  most  of  the  wet  lands.  The  most 
extensive  of  these  huge  deposits  of  muck  and  decaying  vegetable  matter,  are 
Hobbs'  Marsh  and  Big  Marsh,  a  chain  of  bogs,  swamp,  little  lakes  and  rivu- 
lets, extending  through  Clay  and  Van  Buren,  and  lying  between  the  rolling 
country  south  and  the  level  lands  to  the  north.  But  the  largest  marshes  are 
in  south  Newbury  and  Eden,  along  the  branches  of  the  Little  Elkhart.  One 
of  these  is  drained  by  a  large  ditch  some  three  miles  in  length.  Scores  of 
miles  of  ditches  have  been  cut,  under  the  State  laws,  during  the  last  few  years, 
and  large  tracts  of  land,  seemingly  irreclaimable,  have  been  brought  under  the 
yoke — of  oxen  and  the  plow.  Another  decade  will  witness  still  greater 
improvements  in  this  respect. 

A  more  pleasing  feature  of  the  landscape  are  the  prairies.  Of  these, 
Greenfield  rejoices  in  two,  covering  about  twelve  sections — English  Prairie  in 
the  center,  and  to  the  northwest  of  Lexington,  Pretty  Prairie.  On  the  opposite 
side  of  Cedar  Lake  and  its  ouilet,  and  extending  to  Lima,  lies  the  beautiful 
Mongoquinong  Prairie.  The  name  untranslated  is  more  romantic  than  the 
English  rendering,  which  is  said  to  be  "  Big  Squaw."  In  the  southern  part  of 
Springfield  lies  Brushy  Prairie,  embracing  about  three  sections. 

In  the  southwest  corner  of  Clearspring,  and  the  southeast  of  Eden,  is  a 
tract  of  land  of  some  four  thousand  acres,  known  as  the  Haw  Patch.  ■  This, 
when  first  settled  by  the  white  man,  was  sparsely  covered  by  oak,  hickory  and 
hawthorn,  and  presenting  a  most  enticing  prospect  to  the  pioneer.  It  is  still 
a  beautiful  country,  and  its  farms  have,  for  years,  commanded  the  highest  prices 
for  lands  at  a  like  distance  from  shipping-points. 

La  Grange  County  is  situated  upon  the  great  glacial  drift,  which  covers 
to  the  depth  of  100  feet  or  more  the  rocks  of  the  Silurian  period.  They  were 
formed  at  a  very  remote  period  in  the  earth's  history,  when  the  lake  region  was 
one  vast  inland  gulf.  These  rocks  are  a  kind  of  gray  limestone,  and  are  often 
more  than  a  thousand  feet  in  thickness.  They  are  almost  wholly  composed  of 
the  remains  of  the  lower  forms  of  marine  life,  such  as  radiates,  mollusks  and 
articulates.  But  it  is  only  in  the  southern  counties  of  this  region  that  these 
Silurian  rocks  are  found  at  the  surface.  As  to  the  cause  of  this  overlying  de- 
posit of  sand,  clay  and  gravel,  the  generally  adopted  theory  is  well  stated  by 
Mr.  Christian  Y.  Roop,  formerly  of  La  Grange,  in  an  essay  upon  La  Grange 
Oounty  geology,  as  follows  : 

"Nearly  every  part  of  the  earth's  crust  has  been  subject  to  frequent 
changes  of  elevation.  When  the  Silurian  rocks  were  being  formed  by  the 
deposition  of  shells,  a  shallow  inland  sea  covered  all  this  region  of  country, 
and  the  whole  of  what  is  now  North  America  enjoyed  an  almost  tropical 
climate.  But  as  time  rolled  on,  the  continent  gradually  became  more  and 
more  elevated,  the  climate  became  colder  and  colder,  the  ice  fields  of  the  North 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  15 

grew  southward,  as  the  Alpine  glaciers  flow,  until  at  last  the  whole  northern 
part  of  North  America  was  covered  with  snow  and  ice,  thousands  of  feet 
thick ;  from  these  vast  ice  fields  there  issued  with  slow  motion,  but  almost 
resistless  power,  those  enormous  glaciers,  or  rivers  of  ice,  in  whose  paths 
mountains  were  reduced  to  pebbles,  and  the  hardest  rocks  were  ground  to 
sand.  As  these  glaciers  moved  southward,  the  increasing  heat  melted  and 
diminished  them  until  they  finally  disappeared,  giving  rise  to  numerous  rivers 
that  dashed  onward  to  the  ocean.  The  melting  of  the  glaciers,  of  course, 
caused  the  deposit  of  those  immense  masses  of  rocks  and  earth  which  had  been 
transported  from  the  far  North.  These  deposits  form  what  is  called  the  great 
northern  drift,  and  their  southern  limit  in  Indiana  is  not  far  from  the  city  of 
Indianapolis.  South  of  that  line,  we  find  none  of  those  large  rounded  granite 
bowlders  such  as  are  so  plenty  in  this  county.  After  long  ages  of  glacial  action, 
the  continent  began  to  slowly  subside ;  and,  as  the  climate  again  grew  warmer, 
the  limit  of  the  moving  wall  of  ice  was  gradually  pressed  toward  the  North. 
Each  returning  summer  the  land  was  deluged  with  terrific  floods,  flowing  from 
the  melting  glaciers.  These  annual  floods  served  to  still  further  grind  and 
mix  the  enormous  glacial  deposits,  until  at  last  the  wall  of  ice  was  pushed  so 
far  north  that  the  water  from  the  melting  mass  found  shorter  passage  to  the 
sea ;  and  all  this  region  of  country  was  left  a  gently  rolling  surface,  much  as 
Ave  now  find  it." 

As  the  ice  gradually  receded  to  the  north,  and  the  huge  lakes  drained 
away,  they  left  a  country  covered,  in  the  low  places,  with  beds  of  blue  clay, 
and  large  deposits  of  gravel  and  sand.  Upon  this  a  vegetation  sprang  up> 
much  like  that  of  the  present.  But  in  the  forests,  and  over  the  level  plains, 
there  roamed  some  animals  that  would  now  seem  strangely  out  of  place  in  In- 
diana. Not  only  bisons  and  horses,  and  other  animals  familiar  to  us,  but  huge 
mastodons  and  mammoths,  who  browsed  from  the  trees  and  watered  at  the 
lakes  and  the  wide,  sluggish  rivers.  Their  remains  have  almost  entirely  per- 
ished, except  in  those  instances  where  the  animals  were  caught  in  the  mire. 
A  number  of  teeth,  however,  have  resisted  the  erosion  of  years,  and  are  some- 
times plowed  up  in  the  fields. 

A  few  yeai's  ago,  a  Mr.  Boyd,  while  ditching  in  Hobbs'  Marsh,  a  few  miles 
northwest  of  La  Grange,  discovered  the  well-preserved  skull  of  a  mastodon,  but 
the  other  portions  had  disappeared.  The  bones  were  found  about  three  feet  be- 
neath the  surface.  They  were  washed  and  taken  to  La  Grange,  where  they  cre- 
ated considerable  excitement.  One  man  ofiered  $5  for  them,  another  offered 
$10,  and  a  commercial  traveler  raised  the  amount  to  $75,  but  the  owner  refused 
to  sell  at  any  price.  He  exhibited  them  at  Ligonier,  La  Grange,  and  at  other 
places,  but  at  last  sold  them  for  a  small  amount  to  parties  at  La  Grange,  where 
they  are  now  owned.  The  bones  are  undoubtedly  those  of  the  mastodon,  as 
the  crown  of  the  teeth  have  those  peculiar  conical  projections  characteristic  of 
the  animal,  besides  two  small  cavities  some  two  inches  in  diameter,  on  the  ante- 


16  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

rior  portion  of  the  inferior  maxillary,  for  the  insertion,  probably,  of  small 
tusks,  or  teeth. 

Since  then,  the  country  has  been  in  great  part  covered  by  lakes  and  marshes, 
gradually  filling  up  with  decaying  vegetable  matter.  In  some  unexplained 
way,  the  prairies  have  been  formed,  with  their  rich,  loamy  soil.  The  oak  open- 
ings, covering  over  half  the  county,  have  produced  a  sandy  loam,  while  in  the 
heavy  timber,  the  clay  predominates.  This  diversity  in  soil  favors  a  variety  in 
farm  products.  The  "  barrens  "  are  well  adapted  to  wheat;  the  clay  lands,  in 
addition  to  wheat,  corn,  grass  and  oats,  and  the  prairies  to  wheat  and  corn. 
With  respect  to  the  dry  lands  of  the  different  townships,  Newbury,  Eden,  Clear- 
spring,  Lima,  Greenfield  and  Springfield  are  almost  wholly  prairies  and  oak 
openings ;  Milford  and  Van  Buren  largely  oak  openings ;  while  Bloomfield, 
Clay,  Newbury  and  Johnson  had  much  heavy  timber. 

In  many  of  the  marshes,  large  beds  of  marl  are  found.  There  are,  of  course, 
no  stone  quarries,  and  the  only  stone  available  as  building  material  are  the 
bowlders,  which  sufiice  only  for  foundation  walls.  Little  clay  is  found  in  the 
county,  and  much  of  this  is  so  intermixed  with  gravel  as  to  be  useless.  A  brick 
yard  a  few  miles  south,  and  one  west  of  La  Grange,  have  furnished  most  of  the 
brick  used  in  building  in  La  Grange  and  vicinity.  Of  course,  no  ores  are  found 
in  the  county,  of  any  noteworthy  economic  value.  In  several  of  the  marshes 
occur  considerable  deposits  of  bog  iron  ore  or  limonite,  a  hydrous  oxide  of  iron 
collected  by  decaying  plants  from  the  soil  and  water.  Such  an  abundance  of  it 
was  found  on  Buck  Creek  that  it  was  smelted  for  some  years,  at  the  "  Old 
Forge  "  in  Lima  Township.  But  this  mineral  is  not  valuable,  unless  as  the  last 
resort. 

The  resources  of  La  Grange  County,  it  will  be  seen,  are  exclusively  in  the 
rich  soil.  This,  before  the  settler  came,  produced  magnificent  forests.  The 
following  list  includes  all  the  important  trees,  in  the  order  of  their  abundance 
at  present :  Beech,  white  oak,  burr  oak,  black  oak,  red  oak,  sugar  maple,  elm, 
poplar  or  tuliptree,  white  ash,  blue  ash,  hard  maple,  pignut  hickory,  black  ash, 
shellbark  hickory,  basswood,  black  walnut,  cherry,  sycamore,  sassafras,  white 
walnut,  tamarack,  cottonwood,  white  pine,  coffee-nut,  red  cedar  and  box  elder. 
At  an  earlier  day,  however,  walnut,  ash  and  hickory  stood  nearer  the  head  of 
the  list.  Other  shrubs,  such  as  hawthorn,  dogwood,  iron  wood,  papaw, 
plum,  hazel,  crab  apple,  shadberry,  contribute  by  their  fruit  or  flowers  to  the 
beauty  or  interest  of  the  forests.  Huckleberries  and  cranberries  are  abundant 
in  many  places,  and  grapes,  blackberries,  gooseberries,  raspberries,  strawber- 
ries, are  found  everywhere.  Of  the  smaller  plants,  representatives  of  nearly 
every  family  in  American  botany  are  found  here,  except  the  vegetation  of  rocks 
and  mountains.  Much  valuable  timber  has  been  squandered  in  the  county,  but 
great  destruction  was  inevitable  in  the  early  days,  for  farms  had  to  be  cleared, 
and  there  was  no  possible  disposition  of  the  timber  except  to  roll  it  into  the  log 
Heap  and  burn  it.     The  forests  have  furnished  the  whole  of  the  fuel  of  the 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  17 

county  until  within  a  very  few  years,  when  coal  is  just  beginning  to  be  intro- 
duced. 

The  fauna  of  the  county  is  not  extensive.  In  the  earliest  settlement,  deer, 
wolves,  beavers,  and  an  infrequent  bear  and  Avildcat,  were  the  most  important 
wild  animals,  and  occasionally  still  a  bear  strays  into  the  county  and  raises  a 
commotion.  Squirrels  of  several  varieties  are  quite  numerous  in  the  woods, 
and  are  the  principal  attraction  to  the  hunter,  and  the  fox,  polecat,  ground  hog, 
rabbit,  mink,  muskrat,  weasel,  mole,  mouse  and  gopher  are  more  or  less  abund- 
ant. Game  birds  are  much  less  numerous  than  formerly,  and  are  rapidly  dis- 
appearing. Of  these,  the  most  common  were  the  quail,  pheasant,  prairie  fowl, 
pigeon,  wild  turkey,  geese,  ducks,  cranes  and  snipes.  Owls,  hawks  and  more 
ignoble  birds  of  prey  are  in  the  usual  number,  and  occasionally  an  eagle  visits 
the  forests.  Reptiles  are  not  very  plentiful,  except  the  harmless  ones,  although 
about  the  marshes  the  less  venomous  species  of  rattlesnake,  the  Massasauga,  is 
slaughtered  occasionally,  during  hay  cutting,  in  great  numbers.  These  poison- 
ous reptiles  have  been  very  numerous  in  the  swamps,  but  have  been  productive 
of  extremely  little  mortality,  if  any.  The  most  valuable  insect  of  the  early 
days  was,  of  course,  the  "busy  bee,"  and  the  red  man  and  white  man  vied  in 
pursuit  of  its  luscious  product.  Honey  was  very  abundant.  There  is  no 
scarcity  in  any  branch  of  insect  life,  except  that  the  county  is  little  troubled 
with  any  of  the  pests  which  destroy  the  crops.  The  potato  beetle  is  of  course 
excepted.     This  interesting  tramp  is  universal. 

The  Indians  found  in  the  county  by  the  white  settlers  were  of  the  Potta- 
watomie tribe,  an  inoifensive,  quiet  people,  like  all  true  Indians,  much  addicted 
to  the  chase.  Their  worst  crime  was  the  consumption  of  the  "fire-water" 
which  the  pale-face  supplied  to  them,  and  their  capacity  in  this  respect  was 
almost  unbounded.  They  occupied  the  St.  Joseph  country  and  Kankakee 
Valley.  One  of  their  most  important  villages  was  Mongoquinong,  now  called 
Lima,  and  Ontario,  from  which  trails  led  south  to  Fort  Wayne,  upon  which  was 
afterward  built  the  "old  Wayne  road,"  north  to  the  large  Indian  village  once 
near  the  site  of  Mendon,  Mich.,  westward  to  the  St.  Joseph  Mission,  and 
another  to  Haw  Patch.  Along  these  trails,  and  many  others  running  through- 
out the  county,  there  was  continual  travel  by  the  nomadic  red  men  in  their 
hunting  and  trading  expeditions.  During  the  excitement  of  the  Black  Hawk 
war  in  1832,  there  was  some  fear  that  the  Pottawatomies  would  join  in  the 
scrimmage,  and  it  was  even  reported  at  one  time  that  at  a  certain  phase  of  the 
moon  they  would  make  an  alliance  with  a  hostile  tribe.  But  nothing  came  of 
it.  One  day  during  this  feverish  time,  it  was  told  that  a  practical  joker  among 
the  pale-faces  of  Union  Mills,  with  the  help  of  several  whites  and  Indians, 
concocted  a  scheme  that  so  thoroughly  frightened  the  neighborhood  that  the 
remembrance  is  yet  fresh  in  the  minds  of  the  citizens.  The  details  may  be 
found  in  the  chapter  on  Springfield  Township.  In  1839,  the  Indi.ins  were 
removed  westward,  finally  to  Kansas.     Coquillard  was  one  of  the  agents  for 


18  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

their  removal.  They  submitted  to  the  purchase  of  their  homes  very  readily,  as 
a  tribe,  but  many  of  them  were  anxious  to  remain.  They  clung  lovingly  to 
their  old  St.  Joseph  country,  and  even  after  it  was  thought  all  were  gone,  a 
lone  Pottawatomie  would  sometimes  wander  back  to  the  old  hunting  grounds. 

The  curious  custom  of  burial  prevailing  among  the  Indians  would  often 
give  rise  to  sensations.  It  would  not  be  uncommon  to  find  the  remains  of  their 
dead  tied  to  a  tree  in  a  thicket.  One  day  some  persons  uncovering  a  sugar 
trough  below  Van  Buren,  where  a  White  Pigeon  party  had  been  making  sugar, 
were  startled  to  find  it  had  become  the  sepulcher  of  a  red  man.  The  most 
notable  chiefs  before  the  white  men  came  were  White  Pigeon,  whom  one  of  the 
oldest  settlers,  John  Kromer,  remembered  meeting,  and  who  is  buried  at  a  well 
known  spot  near  the  town  which  bears  his  name ;  and  Shipshewana,  who  sleeps 
on  the  north  shore  of  the  lake  which  commemorates  him,  some  say,  although  it 
is  claimed  by  others  that  his  grave  was  some  distance  east  of  the  lake. 

This  country  is,  as  must  already  have  occurred  to  the  reader,  admirably 
adapted  to  agricultural  pursuits.  This  adaption  was  early  recognized,  and  a 
commendable  disposition  and  effort  manifested  to  make  the  best  use  of  it. 
Another  fact  was  also  appreciated,  and  that  is,  that  agricultural  development 
of  a  community  was  not  best  promoted  by  every  tiller  of  the  soil's  digging 
away,  week  after  week,  and  year  after  year,  many  planting,  reaping  and  gar- 
nering away,  regardless  of  all  around,  or  of  any  improvements  that  might  be 
suggested  by  others,  or  with  indifference  to  social  advancement  of  society. 
The  illiterate  idea  that  not  brains,  but  brute  force  only,  is  needed  for  good 
farming,  was  discarded,  and  an  effort  made  to  advance  the  true  and  nobler 
ideal ;  that  agricultural  pursuits  should,  of  all  others,  be  the  master  agencies  of 
civilization;  that  they  should  challenge  the  attention  of  the  best  and  wisest ; 
that  instead  of  allowing  the  towns  and  cities  to  attract  away  the  aspiring  youth, 
the  farm  home  should  have  that  intelligence,  refinement  and  honor ;  that  young 
men  should  see  in  it  more  facilities  for  culture  and  distinction,  than  in  the 
bustle,  turmoil  and  pit-falls  of  city  life.  To  secure  this,  it  was  seen  that  farm- 
ers must  aspire  to  excellence  in  cultivation,  produce  the  best  the  soil  can  be 
compelled  to  bring  forth,  raise  the  best  stock,  have  neat  homes,  promote  social 
and  pleasant  intercourse  among  themselves.  As  the  people  in  towns  and  cities 
co-operate  in  the  improvements  that  make  to  the  material  benefit  of  all,  so  must 
farmers.  Among  the  co-operate  measures  that  have  done  much  to  honor  the 
calling  of  farming,  has  been  that  of  county  agricultural  societies,  for  the  hold- 
ing of  annual  fairs.  La  Grange  County  was  one  of  the  earliest  counties  to 
lead  off  in  this  direction,  and  it  is  believed  the  most  faithful  and  persistent  in 
the  State.  No  county  agricultural  society  in  the  State  that  has  so  long  continual 
existence,  or  held  fairs  without  interruption  so  many  years,  can  now  be  recalled. 

The  La  Grange  County  Agricultural  Society  was  organized  October  1, 
1852.  The  first  officers  were :  Amos  Davis,  President;  Andrew  E.  Durand, 
Vice  President ;  Robert  McClasky,  Treasurer;  C.  B.  Holmes,  Secretary.     The 


La  Grange  County  Court  House 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  .21 

first  fair  was  held  on  the  18th  day  of  October,  1853,  for  the  premiums  of  which, 
we  find  the  records  show  $250  were  appropriated.  The  Presidents  and  Secre- 
taries of  the  society  since,  have  been:  1853 — C.  Corey,  President;  C.  B. 
Holmes,  Secretary.  1854 — C.  Corey,  President;  Mills  Averill,  Secretary. 
1855 — C.  Corey,  President;  Mills  Averill,  Secretary.  (The  fair  this  year  was 
held  at  Lima,  but  the  next  year  was  permanently  located  at  La  Grange.) 
1856-57-58— Hawley  Peck,  President;  C.  B.  Holmes,  Secretary.  1859— H. 
L.  Putney,  President;  C.  B.  Holmes,  Secretary.  1860-61-62 — No  elections 
on  record.  1868 — Hawley  Peck,  President;  J.  Rice,  Secretary.  1864 — 
Jared  Ford,  President;  Thomas  Van  Kirk,  Secretary.  1865 — Dr.  A.  Lewis, 
President;  Thomas  Van  Kirk,  Secretary.  1866 — William  Dorsey,  President; 
Thomas  Van  Kirk,  Secretary;  receipts  of  the  fair,  $963.34.  1868— Nelson 
Slater,  President;  Dr.  F.  P.  Griffith,  Secretary;  receipts,  $485.42.  1869— 
Luke  Selby,  elected  President;  George  K.  Poyser,  acting  President;  Dr.  F. 
P.  Griffith,  Secretary;  receipts  of  fair,  $447.92.  1870— Elisha  Talmagc, 
President;  Dr.  F.  P.  Griffith,  Secretary.  1871— C.  B.  Holmes,  President; 
Thomas  Van  Kirk,  Secretary;  receipts,  $883.40.  1872— C.  B.  Holmes, 
President;  Thomas  Van  Kirk,  Secretary;  receipts,  $1,001.50.  1873— C.  B. 
Holmes,  President;  Thomas  Van  Kirk,  Secretary;  receipts,  $1,370.  1874 — 
C.  B.  Holmes,  President;  W.  T.  Hissong,  Secretary;  receipts,  $1,406.35. 
1875 — C.  B.  Holmes,  President ;  Thomas  Van  Kirk,  Secretary ;  J.  S.  Drake, 
Treasurer;  receipts,  $1,292.  1876— C.  B.  Holmes,  President;  Thomas  Van 
Kirk,  Secretary;  receipts,  $1,142.75.  1877— C.  B.  Holmes,  President; 
Thomas  Van  Kirk,  Secretary;  receipts,  $1,682.25.  1878— S.  K.  Ruick, 
President;  Ira  Ford,  Secretary;  receipts,  $1,234.  1879— S.  K.  Ruick,  Pres- 
ident; Ira  Ford,  Secretary;  receipts,  $1,175.75.  1880 — John  McDonald, 
President;  John  M.  Preston,  Secretary;  receipts,  $1,621.78.  1881 — John 
McDonald,  President;  J.  J.  Gillette,  Secretary;  receipts,  $1,105.66. 

Spring  fairs  have  been  held  in  the  spring  of  the  last  three  years,  but 
have  not,  with  the  exception  of  the  first  one,  proved  profitable  to  the  society. 

The  principal  productions  owned  and  being  produced  in  the  county  for  the 
years  1880  and  1881,  and  other  items,  as  gathered  by  the  Assessors,  and 
reported  June  1,  1881,  are  as  follows : 

Acres  of  wheat  sown  in  the  fall  of  1880 47,095 

Acres  of  spring  wheat  sown  in  the  spring  of  1881 21 

Acres  of  corn  planted  in  1881 24,102 

Acres  of  oats  sown  in  1881 5,889 

Acres  of  rye  sown  in  1881 64 

Acres  of  buckwheat  to  be  sown 166 

Acres  of  Irish  potatoes  in  1881 741 

Acres  of  timothy  meadow  in  1881 6,117 

Acres  of  clover  in  1881 22,283 

Acres  of  blue  grass  and  other  wild  grass 9,323 

Acres  of  plow  land  not  cultivated  in  1881 8,516 

Acres  of  new  land  brought  under  cultivation  in  1881 1,384 


22  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

Number  of  acres  of  timber  land  fenced  or  unfenced  in  1881 43,600 

Number  of  steam  threshers  owned  during  threshing  season  of  1880 40 

Number  of  horse-power  threshers  owned  during  the  season  of  1880 4 

Number  of  bushels  of  wheat  cut  and  threshed  in  1880 865,418 

Number  of  bushels  of  oats  cut  and  threshed  in  1880 150,165 

Number  of  bushels  of  rye  cut  and  threshed  in  1880 300 

Number  of  bushels  of  flaxseed  cut  and  threshed  in  1880 5,673 

Acres  of  wheat  harvested  in  1880 47,879 

Bushels  of  wheat  harvested  in  1880 769,224 

Bushels  of  corn  gathered  in  1880 21,878 

Bushels  of  wheat  gathered  in  1880 764,019 

Acres  of  oats  harvested  in  1880 6,022 

Bushels  of  oats  harvested  in  1880 165,826 

Acres  of  Irish  potatoes  planted  in  1880 581 

Bushels  of  Irish  potatoes  dug  in  188d 41,778 

Acres  of  meadow  in  1880 13,054 

Tons  of  bay  cut  in  1880 19,042 

Acres  of  clover  cut  in  1880 8,523 

Bushels  of  clover  seed  sown  in  1880 4,678 

Bushels  of  fall  apples,  1880 120,860 

Bushels  of  winter  apples,  1880 63,383 

Bushels  of  dried  apples,  1880 1,854 

Bushels  of  pears,  1880 879 

Bushels  of  peaches,  1880 6,861 

Bushels  of  dried  peaches,  1880 300 

Pounds  of  grapes,  1880 117,059 

Gallons  of  strawberries,  1880 4,095 

Gallons  of  currants,  gooseberries  and  blackberries.  1880 5,987 

Gallons  of  cherries,  1880 11,688 

Gallons  of  cider,  1880 206,218 

Gallons  of  vinegar,  1880 8,045 

Gallons  of  wine,  1880 462 

Gallons  of  sorghum  molasses,  1880 6,063 

Gallons  of  maple  molasses,  1880 787 

Pounds  of  maple  sugar,  1880 4,050 

Gallons  of  milk  from  the  cows,  1880 1,647,637 

Pounds  of  butter  sold  and  used  by  the  producers,  1880 476,048 

Number  of  horses  one  year  old  and  under. 585 

Number  of  horses  one  to  two  years  old 492 

Number  of  horses  two  to  three  years  old 441 

Number  of  horses  three  to  four  years  old 357 

Number  of  horses  four  years  old  and  over 4,469 

Number  of  mules  one  year  old  and  under 8 

Number  of  mules  of  other  ages 72 

Number  of  cattle  one  year  old  and  under 4,038 

Number  of  cattle  one  to  two  years  old 2,761 

Number  of  cattle  two  to  three  years  old 1,339 

Number  of  cattle  three  years  old  and  over 7,098 

Number  of  fattened  hogs 16,728 

Average  weight  of  fattened  hogs,  pounds 201 

Number  of  fatted  hogs  which  will  be  old  and  fat,  1881 14,248 

Number  of  grown  sheep 33,503 

Number  of  lambs 10,030 

Number  of  pounds  of  wool  clipped  in  1880 135,356 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  23 

Dozens  of  chickens  sold  and  used  for  the  last  twelve  months 5,727 

Dozens  of  turkeys  used  and  sold  for  the  last  twelve  months 321 

Dozens  of  geese  sold  and  used  for  the  last  twelve  months 103 

Dozens  of  ducks  sold  and  used  for  the  last  twelve  months 263 

Dozens  of  eggs  sold  and  used  for  the  last  twelve  months 174,441 

Pounds  of  feathers  picked 706 

Total  number  of  dogs  owned  or  kept 1,185 

Number  of  stands  of  bees 1,612 

Number  of  pounds  of  honey  taken  for  the  past  twelve  months 7,173 

Number  of  pianos 38 

Number  of  organs 342 

Number  of  sewing  machines 1,389 

From  the  State  Statistician's  Report  of  1880,  we  glean  the  following  items 
in  relation  to  the  county : 

Number  of  church  organizations 32 

Number  of  members — male,  722;  female,  1,091 1,813 

Value  of  church  structures $50,000 

Amount  of  salaries  paid  ministers,  one  year $8,094 

Number  of  practicing  physicians 28 

Number  of  attorneys 18 

Number  of  ministers 29 

Number  of  teachers  in  public  schools 195 

WAGES. 

Rate  of  wages  paid  for  the  year  ending  June  30,  1879,  monthly  and 
T^reekly  rates  being  reduced  to  the  equivalent  per  day : 

Bar-tenders I     77 

Brickmakers 1  50 

Blacksmiths 1  87 

Brick-masons 2  08 

Cabinet-makers 2  00 

Carpenters 1  87 

Day  laborers 1  00 

Hotel  clerks 77 

Coopers 1  50 

Dressmakers 75 

Domestic  help 34 

Engineers,  stationary 1  08 

Farm  hands 63 

Livery-stable  hands 69 

Machinists 1  00 

PUBLIC    WORKS. 

Miles  of  railroad  in  the  county 16.57 

Cost  of  construction  and  equipment $557,416 

Value  for  taxation,  1881 $145,335 

Miles  of  common  roads 665 

Estimated  cost  of  construction  and  maintenance  for  the  last  ten  years $266,000 

Acres  of  land  in  roadways 2,759 

Estimated  value  of  lands  in  roadways $44,144 

Total  estimated  value  invested  for  the  use  of  the  public,  as  in  public 
buildings,  schoolhouses,  churches,  roads,  bridges,  and  permanent 
school  fund , $1,200,000 


24  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

REAL    ESTATE    OWNERS. 

In  1875 Land,  2,525.     Lots,  360 

In  1879 Land,  2,760.     Lots,  350 

This  indicates  that  land-owners  are  increasing,  rather  than  diminishing. 

THE    CENSUS. 

The  population  of  the  county,  as  reported  by  the  census  returns,  ha& 
been  as  follows : 

1840 3,661 

1850 8,369 

1860 11,350 

1870 14,123 

1880 15.639 

The  last  census  showed  8,017  males,  7,622  females.  Of  the  males,  3,940 
were  of  voting  age,  over  twenty-one  years. 

The  population  of  the  several  townships,  in  1880,  was : 

1880  1870 

Van  Buren 1,374  1,347 

Newbury 1,392  1,159 

Eden 1,111  930 

Clearspring 1,370  1,223 

Clay 1,408  1,223 

Lima 1,336  1,371 

Greenfield 1,182  1,078 

Bloomfield 2,571  2,254 

Johnson '. 1,565  1,322 

Milford 1,312  1,288 

Springfield 1,018  928 

15,639  14,123 

Of  those  reported  in  1880,  110  had  passed  their  seventy-fifth  year.  The 
oldest  reported  was  eighty-nine. 

Table  showing  the  number  of  marriage  licenses  issued,  the  number  of 
letters  of  administration  or  executorship  taken  out,  and  the  number  of  divorce* 
granted  in  the  county,  during  the  last  eleven  years  : 

Marriage  Letters  of  Ad- 
Tear.                                                                                                           Licenses  ministration  and  Divorces. 

Issued.  Executorship. 

1870 130  23  16 

1871 95  23  13 

1872 98  28  22 

1878 124  23  10 

1874 132  22  18 

1875 : 110  25  8 

1876 117  22  11 

1877 113  29  8 

1878 124  32  14 

1879 118  19  11 

1880 104  ...  18 

Total 1,265       ...      149 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  25 

[The  following  from  the  pen  of  Mr.  Edward  S.  Edmunds,  an  enthusiastic 
student  of  geology,  as  well  as  of  all  other  branches  of  natural  science,  will  be 
read  with  interest. — Ed.] 

Glancing  backward  through  the  cycles  and  epicycles  of  the  past,  the  evi- 
dences of  constant  and  untiring  change  are  written  as  with  a  mystic  pen  upon 
all  forms  of  matter.  So  far  as  the  human  mind  can  penetrate  with  its  keen 
acumen,  its  profound  reasoning  and  its  knowledge  and  experience  of  the  past, 
unmistakable  proofs  of  growth  and  development  of  even  our  own  planet  are  to 
be  seen  upon  every  hand.  If  we  trace  human  history  downward  into  pre-his- 
toric  soil,  we  find  it  replete  with  evidences  of  the  rise,  decline  and  fall  of  nations. 
From  the  ashes  of  the  old,  like  the  ancient  phoenix,  the  new  has  arisen,  and  pass- 
ing toward  the  zenith  of  its  power  it  rushed  onward  to  the  horizon  of  dissolu- 
tion, having  been  borne  forward  by  the  ever-flowing  current  of  human  destiny. 
Thus  for  ages  these  dramas  of  human  life  have  been  enacted.  Likewise  through 
the  geologic  past,  the  three  great  kingdoms  of  nature  have  been  built,  torn  down 
and  rebuilt  in  cyclic  repetition.  The  human  mind,  having  emerged  from  the 
dark  clouds  of  superstition  which  have  hung  like  the  pall  of  night  over  the 
path  of  progression,  is  asserting  its  just  and  proper  right — that  of  reason  ;  hence 
in  the  seed  of  the  present  lies  the  golden  fruit  of  the  future.  "  Star-eyed  sci- 
ence "  opens  wide  the  door  of  knowledge  and  invites  the  thinking  and  un- 
thoughtful  to  explore  her  hidden  vaults  and  seize  the  precious  treasures  which 
have  lain  hidden  through  all  the  cosmical  ages.  The  human  mind,  being  a  prod- 
uct of  the  Divine  mind,  seeks  to  know  the  causes  of  this  world  of  complex  mat- 
ter, recognizing  that  all  things  are  governed  by  Law.  Chief  among  the  ques" 
tions  now  agitating  the  depths  of  the  thinking  mind  is  that  of  world-formation. 
In  this  connection,  the  two  scieftces.  Astronomy  and  Geology,  go  hand  in  hand ; 
but  as  the  former  pertains  to  the  universe,  we  take  the  latter  and  will  endeavor 
to  present  to  the  reader  the  revealed  geology  of  our  county.  Leaving  the  topo- 
graphical portion,  which  has  been  described  by  Dr.  Rerick,  the  first  thing  that 
claims  our  attention  is  the  character  of  the  soil.  As  many  do  not  know  how 
the  soil  has  been  formed,  I  will  endeavor  to  explain  the  matter  in  question. 
Throughout  the  long  and  wonderful  periods  of  geological  history,  the  "  forces 
of  nature,"  such  as  heat,  light,  air,  water,  electricity,  etc.,  have  continually 
wrought  upon  the  rocky  portion  of  the  earth's  crust.  Continents  have  arisen 
from  the  bosom  of  primitive  seas,  to  be  submerged  again  beneath  the  waters  of 
a  boiling  cauldron.  For  we  must  remember  that  the  internal  fires  of  our  planet 
in  former  times  often  broke  through  the  thin  film  of  rock,  overturning  the  land 
thus  far  raised  above  the  first  ocean.  This  operation  must  have  been  repeated 
innumerably  when,  by  this  constant  action,  assisted  by  the  destroying  power  of 
electricity  and  other  agents,  massive  portions  of  rock  were  ground  to  powder. 
The  different  elements  of  nature,  such  as  oxygen,  hydrogen,  nitrogen,  etc.,  are 
powerful  agencies  of  destruction  and  composition,  and  during  the  time  when  our 
county  was  covered  with  ice-fields  and  glaciers,  this  disintegration  was  carried 


26  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

on.  Thus,  after  years  and  centuries  and,  for  aught  we  know,  aeons  of  time, 
many  places  upon  the  earth's  surface  are  covered  with,  this  powdered  rock. 
During  the  more  recent  periods,  the  vegetation  which  has  flourished  for  cen- 
turies has  passed  through  its  cycles  of  growth,  dropped  to  the  earth  and  min- 
gled its  substance  with  the  powdered  rock.  Thus,  by  a  constant  intermingling 
of  the  humus  (as  it  is  called)  with  the  disintegrated  rock,  we  have  the  substance 
called  soil. 

The  chemical  elements  of  the  soil  differ  greatly  with  the  locality.  Here, 
it  must  be  known  by  the  reader  that  of  all  the  elements  entering  into  the 
structure  of  the  everlasting  rock,  silica  is  the  most  abundant,  composing  nearly 
one-half  of  the  crust.  It  is  prevalent  in  almost  every  variety  of  rock,  and,  in 
its  pure  state,  is  what  we  term  "sand."  The  white  color,  or  clear  appearance 
of  the  sand,  is  ■  owing  to  the  characteristics  of  the  silica.  Upon  examination, 
under  a  microscope  of  moderate  power,  these  particles  are  found  to  be,  in  many 
instances,  of  crystalline  form,  having  numerous  geometrical  angles.  If,  on  the 
other  hand,  the  sand  is  of  a  dirty  or  yellow  appearance,  it  is  owing  to  the 
quantity  of  iron  or  other  coloring  matter  contained.  Regarding  the  quality  of 
the  soil,  the  prairies,  having  been  covered  for  centuries  with  rank  vegetation, 
and  previously  submerged  by  the  lakes  that  covered  that  portion  of  the  surface, 
are  covered  with  what  is  called  a  "black  loam" — the  cause  of  this  color  being 
the  abundance  of  that  productive  quality  of  the  soil,  "  humus,"  or  vegetable 
mold.  This,  through  the  changes  which  have  been  wrought,  has  become  com- 
pounded with  the  sand  in  small  quantities,  and  through  the  agency  of  "  sub- 
soiling,"  it  has  mixed  somewhat  with  the  under  soil,  thus  rendering  it  highly 
productive.  Upon  what  are  called  the  "  oak-openings,"  the  soil,  having  a 
much  less  quantity  of  '■^  humus,"  contains  a  much  larger  percentage  of  sand, 
consequently  it  is  of  a  lighter  color.  Hence,  with  fertilizers  and  cropping,  it 
is  quite  well  adapted  to  the  cereals,  as  the  large  portion  of  silica  it  contains 
enters  so  materially  into  the  stalk  of  the  grain.  Scattered  throughout  the 
county  are  quite  extensive  marshes,  which  owe  their  formation  to  rank  vegeta- 
ble growth  and  submersion  after  a  series  of  years,  the  accumulation  being  so 
great  as  to  form,  in  some  instances,  a  thick  matted  stratum  several  feet  in  thick- 
ness. In  some  instances,  however,  several  strata  have  been  formed  in  the  same 
way.  In  Ireland,  and  in  numerous  places  in  this  country,  these  formations  are 
numerous,  and  are  known  under  the  familiar  name  of  "peat  bogs."  In  Ire- 
land the  poorer  classes  cut  these  bogs  up  into  squares  and  rectangles,  and  when 
dry,  the  peat  makes  good  fuel.  When  these  "  peat  beds  "  have  become  for  a 
long  time  submerged,  they  form  coal.  In  earlier  geological  ages,  when  the 
mastodon,  dinotherium,  etc.,  flourished,  they  often  wandered  over  these  marshes, 
and,  sinking  into  the  mire,  portions  of  their  skeletons  have  been  preserved, 
where  they  fell  a  victim  to  indiscretion,  but  a  monument  to  the  geologist.  La 
Grange  County  lies  wholly  within  the  Bowlder  Drift,  or  Quaternary  epoch, 
varying   from    eighty  to  two  hundred  and  twelve  feet  in  thickness,  approxi- 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  27 

mately.  In  many  instances  these  figures  are,  perhaps,  much  modified,  but  by 
carefully  examining  the  wells  that  have  been  sunk,  and  from  the  statements  of 
those  engaged  in  well-sinking,  I  have  come  to  this  conclusion:  The  clay 
formation  is  most  predominant,  with  a  little  sand  and  clay  on  the  top,  inter- 
spersed with  now  and  then  a  bowlder.  This  develops  the  fact  that  the  great 
bulk  of  the  recent  formation  is  clay.  Near  the  gravel  this  is  often  very  com- 
pact, and  is  then  called  "hard-pan."  Sometimes,  in  boring  for  water,  the 
auger  strikes  a  large  bowlder ;  in  such  cases,  the  auger  must  be  withdrawn  and 
another  trial  made  in  a  new  locality.  Generally,  after  going  through  the  "  hard- 
pan,"  water  is  found  in  the  layer  of  sand  below.  In  some  localities,  the  clay 
is  so  abundant  that  it  has  been  used  in  the  manufacture  of  brick,  but  in  nearly 
every  instance  has  been  abandoned,  as  the  predominance  of  lime  rendered  them 
inferior  for  building  purposes.  However,  some  brick  are  burned,  but  they  are 
used  only  for  rough  work. 

In  some  localities,  and  particularly  in  Van  Buren  Township,  beds  of 
"  bog-iron  ore  "  occur,  and,  as  these  are  the  most  extensive  of  any  in  the 
county,  I  will  describe  them  and  their  formation.  They  lie  about  a  mile  south- 
west of  the  village  of  Van  Buren,  in  quite  a  low  portion  of  that  section,  and 
covering  an  area  of  several  thousand  square  yards.  For  many  years  after  these 
beds  were  discovered,  and  even  after  they  had  been  worked  for  some  time,  their 
origin  was  unknown.  But  since  science  has  become  developed,  it  is  no  longer 
a  mystery.  The  wonderful  chemical  laboratory  of  nature  is  the  scene  of  these 
mysterious  transformations.  The  "  bog  ore  "  of  Van  Buren  is  said  to  contain 
in  its  purest  form  70  per  cent  of  iron,  and  when  smelted  is  remarkable  for  its 
tenacity.  This,  together  with  its  large  percentage  of  iron,  has,  during  the 
earlier  history  of  the  county,  caused  these  mines  to  be  extensively  worked. 
Smelting  works  were  established  in  Lima  Township,  where  for  some  years  the 
"ore  "  was  prepared  for  the  market;  but  after  railroads  were  established,  and 
more  extensive  mines  discovered,  these  sank  into  insignificance. 

xls  history  is  the  record  of  the  past  events  of  man,  so  is  geology  the  his- 
tory of  our  planet ;  and,  as  the  monuments  and  traditions  of  past  ages  reveal 
to  us  the  condition  of  humanity  at  particular  periods,  so  do  the  rocky  monuments 
— the  fossils  and  the  primitive  sea-beach — disclose  to  the  geologist  the  remains 
of  former  continents,  upon  whose  shores  the  primitive  ocean  beat,  and  in  whose 
waters  there  existed  the  animals  of  those  epochs.  Since  the  creation  of  the 
science  of  geology,  these  different  epochs  have  received  names  which  have  given 
us  a  geological  nomenclature,  as  follows :  Archaean,  Silurian,  Devonian, 
Carboniferous,  etc.  As  ours  is  the  "Bowlder  Period,"  the  underlying  rocks 
which  crop  out  not  far  from  Indianapolis  are  covered  to  the  depth  of  many 
hundred  feet  with  the  drift  which  came  from  the  extreme  northern  regions ; 
and  so  the  fossils  of  our  county  are  the  rocky  testimonials  of  the  existence  of 
Silurian,  Devonian  and  Carboniferous  periods  of  growth.  Many  interesting 
fossils  have  been  gathered  from  the  field,  the  brook,  the  cemetery  and  the  hill- 


28  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

side.  To  many  of  those  who  have  them  hoarded  up,  they  are  nothing  more 
than  "  curious  stones,"  but  to  the  geologist  they  are  land-marks  of  former  ages, 
when  the  conditions  for  existence  were  far  different  than  now.  Conglomerates, 
"  pudding-stone,"  geodes,  trilobites,  different  kinds  of  shell-fish,  animals  re- 
sembling the  lobster,  craw-fish,  etc.,  are  found.  Of  these,  however,  the  trilo- 
bite,  the  earlier  animal  of  the  Silurian  seas,  is  rarely  found,  only  a  few 
specimens  having  been  preserved.  Of  the  later  periods,  I  have  found  a  few  of 
the  minor  specimens  of  the  Jurassic  and  Triassic  periods.*  This,  by  noted 
geologists,  is  regarded  as  very  remarkable ;  but,  when  we  consider  the  fact  that 
this  period  crops  out  in  British  Columbia  as  well  as  on  the  Rocky  Mountains, 
it  were  easy  to  conceive  of  such  fossils  drifting,  with  those  of  other  periods,  to 
the  southward.  At  some  future  time,  when  an  opportunity  presents  itself,  I 
intend  to  put  on  exhibition  and  publish  an  account  of  these  remarkable  fossils. 
[Since  it  has  been  established  that  Northern  Indiana,  including  La  Grange 
County,  is  rich  in  the  remains  of  that  mysterious  people  known  as  Mound- 
Builders,  it  seems  necessary  to  give  at  this  point  what  is  known  of  those  people 
in  this  vicinity.  The  reader  will  find  in  Chapter  I,  Part  II,  of  this  volume,  a 
complete  classification  of  the  Mound-Builders'  works.  Without  attempting 
another  such  classification,  the  antiquities  of  La  Grange  County,  so  far  as  known, 
will  be  considered.  It  may  be  premised,  that,  from  the  fact  that  no  supposi- 
tional military  fortifications  have  been  discovered  in  either  of  the  two  counties. 
La  Grange  or  Noble,  the  territory  was  in  the  center  of  a  large  country  of  Mound- 
Builders,  and  not  on  the  border,  or  between  two  or  more  hostile  tribes.  Nothing 
has  been  found  here,  with  one  possible  exception,  save  sepulchral,  sacrificial 
and  memorial  mounds.  Owing  to  the  state  of  the  weather,  the  historian  has 
been  unable  (as  was  done  in  Noble  County)  to  make  a  personal  examination  of 
the  mounds  of  La  Grange  County.  However,  many  of  thosa^which  were  opened 
in  the  past  by  citizens  of  the  county,  who  were  generally  careles>4n  their  exam- 
inations, have  been  made  to  yield  up  a  portion  of  their  secrets.  A  number  of 
years  ago,  two  mounds  were  opened  on  Section  13,  Milford  Township.  A  quan- 
tity of  crumbling  human  bones  was  taken  from  one  of  them,  among  them  being 
a  skull  quite  well  preserved.  Some  of  the  teeth  were  almost  as  sound  as  they 
ever  were,  and  the  under-jaw,  a  massive  one,  was  especially  well  preserved.  In 
the  other  mound  was  found  a  layer  of  ashes  and  charcoal,  extending  over  two 
or  three  square  yards  of  ground.  This  was  undoubtedly  a  mound  where  sacri- 
fices were  offered  to  the  deity  of  the  Mound-Builders,  and  where  burial  rites 
with  fire  were  performed.  On  the  line  between  Sections  20  and  29,  Springfield 
Township,  is  what  might  have  been  a  fortification.  The  writer  carefully  exam- 
ined the  spot  which  is  the  summit  of  a  gradual  elevation ;  but,  although  Mr. 

*  If  it  is  really  the  case  that  Mr.  Edmunds  has  discovered  in  the  county  rocky  or  fossiliferous  relics  of  the 
Jurassic  or  Triassic  periods,  the  discovery  will  certainly  be  of  great  interest  to  those  who  have  made  the  geology  of 
Northern  Indiana  a  study.  As  the  Drift,  with  which  these  relics  were  found,  came  from  the  north,  it  could  only  haTe 
come  from  those  places  where  strata  of  the  Jurassic  or  Triassic  periods  outcropped  or  were  sufficiently  near  the  sur- 
face to  admit  of  being  taken  up,  either  by  the  glaciers,  or  later,  by  their  successors— the  icebergs.  The  l-rift  of  thio 
locality  couM  scarcely  have  come  from  British  Columbia  or  Connecticut,  or  Massachusetts,  or  further  south  along  the 
Atlantic  coast,  as  is  proved  by  the  glacial  markings,  which  usually  do  not  vary  greatly  from  a  north  and  south  line. 
The  relics  may  have  been  brought  here  by  icebergs,  which  were  wider  travelers  than  the  glaciers.  Or,  perhaps,  the 
relics  do  not  belong  to  the  above-named  periods  after  all. 


'i^'l^it 


^ 


COUNTY   CLERK 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  31 

George  Thompson  indicated  the  position  of  the  alleged  circular  embankment, 
only  slight  traces  of  it  were  visible,  and  these  were  apparently  much  the  result 
of  speculation.     It  may  have  been,  however,  as  the  old  settlers  assert.     Near  the 
center  of  the  level  space  on  the  summit  was  a  large  mound,  at  least  five  feet  in 
height,  in  1836.     This  was  opened  about  that  time,  and  from  it  were  taken 
enough  bones  to  indicate  that  more  than  one  person  had  been  buried  there. 
It  is  said  that  a  few  trinkets,  such  as  slate  ornaments  or  mica,  were  found.     In 
the  same  township,  about  a  mile  northwest  of  this  spot,  is  one  large  mound  and 
perhaps  a  smaller  one.     These,  it  is  said,  have  not  been  seriously  disturbed. 
On  Section  27,  Clay  Township,  are  two  mounds,  large  ones,  which  have  not  been 
subjected  to  exhaustive  examination.     The  writer  has  been  told  that  there  are 
three  mounds  in  the  eastern  part  of  Lima  Township,  on  the  farm   of  George 
Shafer.     Three-quarters  of  a  mile  northwest  of  Lima,  on   the   Craig  farm,  are 
three  mounds,  which  were  opened  a  number  of  years  ago.     The  usual  bones  and 
charcoal  were  found,  as  were  also  various  trinkets,  which  may  be  seen  in  the 
private  collections  of  curiosities  at  Lima.     About  forty  rods  west   of  James 
Moony's  house,  in  Van  Buren  Township,  are  three  mounds,  all  of  which  have 
been  opened.     Human  bones,  slate  ornaments  and  other  trinkets  were  found, 
as  was  also  an  abundance  of  ashes  and  charcoal.     There  are  also  mounds  in 
the  vicinity  of  Buck,   Shipshewana  and  Twin  Lakes.     The  peculiar  formation 
about  Wall  and  other  lakes  is  due  to  the  agency  of  ice.     It  is  thought  by  some 
that  the  Indians  or  Mound-Builders  were  responsible  for  the  embankment,  but 
no  one  familiar  with  formations  of  the  kind  will  make  such  a  declaration.     Such 
walls  are  very  numerous  on  the  banks  of  Western  lakes,  especially  those  of 
Illinois  and  Iowa.     Around  some  of  the  lakes  of  the  latter  State  is  a  continuous 
chain  of  bowlders  and  gravel,  which,  by  observation  through  some  thirty  years, 
was  undoubtedly  thrown  up  by  the  united  action  of  ice  and  waves,  and  the  pro- 
cess of  freezing  and  thawing.     This  fact  is  well  understood  and  universally 
admitted  by  geologists,  in  Iowa.     It  may  be  added  that  there  are  other  evidences 
in  the  county  of  the  presence  in  past  years  of  the  Mound-Builders  aside  from 
their  mounds.     Reference  is  made  to  stone  or  other  implements  or  ornaments. 
W.  H.  Duff  and  Master  George  Dayton,  both  of  Lima,  and  Dr.  Betts,  of  La 
Grange,  especially  the  former  two,  have  fine  collections  of  antiquities.     Mr. 
Duff  has  nearly  300  specimens,  and  Master  Dayton  has  over  400.     These  con- 
sist mainly  of  stone  axes,  mauls,  hammers,  celts,  mortars,  pestles,  flint  arrow 
and  spear  heads,  copper  knives,  and  copper  arrow  or  spear  heads,  fleshing  and 
skinning  instruments,  ceremonial  stones,  shuttles,  and  various  other  implements 
evidently  used  in  weaving  or  sewing,   colored  slate  ornaments,  breast-plates  of 
stone,  ornamental  charms  and  totems,  igneous  stones,  many  curious  varieties  of 
arrow-heads  and  darts,  etc.,  etc.     There  have  also  been  found  in  the  county  a 
few  extremely  rare  slate  or  stone  ornaments  or  implements,  bone  and  metallic 
ornaments,  small  fragments  of  pottery,  mica  (not  native),  curiously  carved  pipes 
of  stone  or  other  substance,  besides  other  articles,  the  uses  of  which  are  extremely 
doubtful.     Much  more  might  be  said  in  detail  on  the  same  subject. — Ed.] 


CHAPTER    11. 

BY  J.  H.  EERICK,  M.  D. 

Organization  of  the  County— The  First  Term  of  Court— Tiifi  Bench  and 
THE  Bar— Trials  for  Murder— Public  Buildings— Reminiscences  of 
the  Early  Law  Practitioners— Sketch  of  the  Early  Physicians  and 
the  Practice  of  Medicine— Valuable  County  Statistics. 

FOR  some  years  prior  to  1833,  the  territory  to  be  in  the  future  called  La 
Grange  County  and  portions  of  Steuben,  Noble  and  DeKalb  Counties  were 
attached  to  Elkhart  County  and  known  as  the  township  of  Mongoquinong. 
The  county  seat  was  at  Goshen,  Elkhart  County,  and  one  of  the  oldest  living 
settlers  was  called  to  that  place  to  serve  upon  a  jury  before  the  formation  of 
this  county.  The  first  step  toward  separation  was  on  February  2,  1832,  sixteen 
years  after  the  organization  of  the  State,  when  Gov.  Noah  Noble  approved  the 
act  for  the  organization  of  the  county.  This  act  provided  that  "  from  and 
after  the  1st  day  of  April  next,  all  that  tract  of  country  included  in  the  fol- 
lowing boundaries  shall  form  and  constitute  a  new  county,  to  be  known  and 
designated  by  the  name  of  the  county  of  La  Grange,  to  wit:  Beginning  at 
the  northeast  corner  of  Elkhart  County,  thence  running  east  with  the  northern 
boundary  to  the  range  line  between  11  and  12,  thence  south  sixteen  and  a  half 
miles,  thence  west  to  eastern  boundary  of  Elkhart  County,  thence  north  with 
said  boundary  to  the  beginning." 

Levi  G.  Thompson  and  Francis  Comparet,  of  Allen  County ;  W.  B.  Grif- 
fith, of  St.  Joseph;  Peter  Noland,  of  Delaware;  and  William  Watt,  of  Union, 
were  appointed  Commissioners  to  "fix  the  seat  of  justice,"  which  task  they 
were  ordered  to  accomplish  on  the  second  Monday  of  May,  1833^  at  the  house 
of  Moses  Bice.  The  Commissioners  were  to  be  notified  of  their  appointment 
by  the  Sherifi"  of  Allen  County.  The  same  act  provided  that  the  Circuit  Court 
and  the  Board  of  County  Commissioners,  when  elected  under  the  writ  of  elec- 
tion from  the  Executive  Department,  should  hold  their  first  session  at  the  house 
of  Moses  Rice  and  adjourn  to  as  near  the  center  of  the  county  as  a  convenient 
place  could  be  had.  It  also  provided  that  the  agent  appointed  to  superintend 
the  sale  of  lots  at  the  county  seat  should  retain  10  per  cent  of  the  proceeds  for 
the  use  of  the  public  library.  For  judicial  purposes,  the  county  was  attached 
to  the  Sixth  Judicial  District  and  was  to  be  represented  in  the  Legislature 
jointly  with  Allen  County.  All  of  the  State  east  of  La  Grange  and  south  to 
Townships  33  and  34,  which  includes  Steuben  County  and  three-fourths  of  De 
Kalb  and  Noble  Counties,  were  attached  to  the  new  county  for  civil  and  judi- 
cial purposes.     The  Circuit  Court  was  ordered  to  be  held  on  the  Mondays 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  33 

succeeding  the  courts  in  Elkhart   County  and  to  sit  three  days  each  term,  if 
the  business  demanded  so  extensive  a  session. 

The  townships  were  organized  as  follows:  The  first  division  into  townships 
was  into  Lima  and  Greenfield,  May  14,  1832.  The  remaining  townships  were 
organized  as  follows:  Eden,  November  5,  1832;  Springfield,  May  4,  1834; 
Bloomneld,  May  5,  1835 ;  Van  Buren,  January  3,  1837 ;  Newbury,  March  6, 
1837;  Clearspring,  March  6,  1837;  Johnson,  March  6,  1837;  Milford,  Sept- 
ember 5,  1837 ;  Clay,  September  4,  1838. 

A  county  election  was  held  in  the  spring  of  1832,  which  resulted  in  the 
choice  of  the  following  first  county  officers  :  Joshua  T.  Hobbs,  Clerk  ;  Daniel 
Harding,  Sherifi";  Thomas  Gale,  Treasurer;  David  St.  Clair,  Recorder;  Jacob 
Vandevanter,  Edmund  Littlefield  and  Arthur  Barrows,  Commissioners. 

The  first  term  of  Circuit  Court  convened  on  the  22d  day  of  October, 
1832,  at  the  home  of  Moses  Rice.  Court  was  called  in  the  open  air,  at  a  con- 
venient place  between  two  hay  stacks,  and  then  moved  into  the  house.  The 
presiding  Judge  was  Hon.  Charles  H.  Test,  who  then  filled  the  Sixth  Circuit 
and  is  now  a  resident  of  the  city  of  Indianapolis.  Joshua  T.  Hobbs,  the  first 
Clerk-elect,  presented  his  commission  at  this  term,  and  was  qualified  as  Clerk. 
The  SheriS"-elect,  not  having  qualified,  and  Nehemiah  Coldren,  the  Sheriff"  by 
appointment  of  the  Governor,  being  absent,  Jesse  Harding,  the  Coroner-elect, 
was  qualified,  and  took  his  place  as  Sheriff",  brought  into  court  the  first  Grand 
Jury  ever  assembled  in  the  county,  and  was  the  first  to  make  the  prairies  echo 
with  the  cry  "  Hear  ye,  hear  ye,  this  Honorable  La  Grange  Circuit  Court  is  now 
in  session." 

The  names  of  the  Grand  Jurymen  were :  Ebenezer  Fish,  Ami  Lawrence, 
William  Thrall,  Isaac  Wolgamott,  Samuel  Fish,  Oliver  Closson,  Jonathan 
Gardner,  Benjamin  Gale,  Samuel  Anderson,  William  A.  McNeal  and  Richard 
Northrop,  who  when  sworn,  the  record  says  "retired  to  consult  of  their  busi- 
ness." Luther  Newton  and  Ephraim  Seeley,  presented  their  commissions  as 
Associate  Judges,  who,  after  being  qualified,  took  their  seats  with  the  Presiding 
Judge.  Neal  McGaff",  of  White  Pigeon,  and  Samuel  C.  Sample,  from  St.  Jo- 
seph County,  were  admitted  as  attorneys  and  counselors  at  the  bar,  ex  gracio^ 
for  that  term.  Joseph  Kerr  and  Daniel  Harding  were  appointed  bailiff's.  S. 
C.  Sample  was  afterward  appointed  Prosecuting  Attorney  in  place  of  William 
J.  Brown,  the  regular  prosecutor,  who  was  reported  absent  on  account  of  sick- 
ness. 

But  two  cases  were  presented  for  trial,  both  of  which  were  continued. 
Moses  Hill  presented  a  petition  of  ad  quod  damnum.  The  writ  was  granted  to 
be  returned  at  the  next  term.  Daniel  Fox,  Frederick  Hamilton,  Thomas  P. 
Burnell,  William  liCgg  and  Samuel  Burnell,  all  from  "  old  England,"  made 
application,  to  make  oath  of  their  intention  to  become  citizens  of  the  United 
States.  The  only  record  of  allowance  at  this  term  of  the  court,  is  that  to 
bailiff's,  of  $3  each. 


34  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

The  first  Grand  Jury  chosen  by  the  Commissioners,  of  which  we  have 
record,  was  for  the  May  term,  1834,  of  the  Circuit  Court,  and  consisted  of  the 
following  persons :  Thomas  Gale,  Otis  Newman,  John  Jewett,  Nehemiah  Col- 
dren,  Jonathan  Gardner,  John  Langdon,  Micayah  Harding,  Robert  Latta, 
Samuel  Fish,  Spencer  Fish,  Samuel  Robinson,  Isaac  Wolgamott,  Samuel  An- 
derson, George  Egneu,  Ami  Lawrence,  James  Hostetter  and  John  B.  Clark. 

The  second  term  of  the  Circuit  Court  was  held  at  the  house  of  Moses  Rice, 
commencing  on  the  13th  day  of  May,  1833.  Presiding  Judge,  Hon.  Gustavus 
Everts ;  Clerk,  Joshua  T.  Hobbs  ;  Sheriff,  William  Thrall ;  Prosecutor,  John 
B.  Chapman.  Charles  W.  Ewing,  Jonathan  A.  Liston,  David  H.  Colerick, 
Samuel  W.  Parker,  Joseph  E.  Jernegan,  and  Neal  McGaifey  were  admitted, 
ex  gracio,  to  practice  at  the  bar  at  this  term.  The  proceedings  of  this  term 
make  up  a  record  of  some  twenty  pages.  Cases  of  assault  and  battery,  riot 
and  violation  of  the  liquor  license  law  were  largely  in  the  majority.  One  of 
the  State  cases  was  that  of  an  indictment  against  a  woman  for  retailing  liquors 
contrary  to  law,  on  which  she  was  found  guilty  and  was  mulcted  in  a  fine  of  ^2. 
The  State  cases  entered  on  the  docket,  during  the  first  three  years  after  the  or- 
ganization of  the  county,  numbered  about  eighty,  and  are  almost  equal  in  num- 
ber with  the  State  cases  of  the  present  time. 

The  first  resident  lawyer  of  the  La  Grange  bar  was  John  B.  Howe.  Mr. 
Howe  was  admitted  in  1834,  and  had  for  associates  at  the  bar,  in  addition  to 
those  before  mentioned,  Samuel  C.  Sample,  Charles  W.  Ewing,  Henry  Cooper, 
Thomas  Johnson,  and  afterward  William  H.  Combs. 

Mr.  Howe  says  of  these:  '"They  were  thoroughly-read  lawyers ;"  and 
continues :  "  John  B.  Chapman,  the  author  of  the  Bufi*alo  &  Mississippi  charter 
for  a  railroad  running  along  the  northern  border  of  the  State,  was  then  Prose- 
cuting Attorney.  Gustavus  A.  Everts  was  Presiding  Judge  of  the  Court  when 
I  was  admitted  to  the  bar,  at  the  spring  term,  1834.  I  had  applied  at  the  fall 
term  previous,  and  was  examined  by  Cooper  and  Jernegan.  I  failed  of  admis- 
sion upon  their  report,  because  I  failed  in  some  answers  to  some  of  the  most 
technical  questions  upon  that,  in  some  aspects,  most  technical  of  all  subjects, 
the  statute  of  uses.  I  brought  myself  to  the  required  standard  by  six  months' 
longer  study,  during  a  portion  of  which  time  I  was  keeping  school. 

''  The  system  of  pleading  at  that  time  in  use  was  that  which  prevails  under 
the  common  law,  and  the  practice  of  the  High  Court  of  Chancery  in  England  ; 
and  to  show  in  a  few  words  how  readily  all  parts  of  the  social  system,  even  to 
pleading  and  practice  in  court,  and  conveyancing,  adapt  themselves  to  actual 
conditions,  the  common  law  pleading,  with  the  exception  of  declarations  and 
bills  in  chancery,  including  pleas,  replications,  rejoinders,  rebutters,  and,  if 
need  be,  surrebutters,  were  for  the  most  part  drawn  up  and  signed  during 
court,  and  to  a  considerable  extent  in  the  court  house.  The  true  science  of 
law  is  everywhere  substantially  the  same,  and  the  pleading  and  practice  are 
only  the  machinery  by  which  exact  justice  is  done  or  attempted.      Some  injus- 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  35 

tice  has  undoubtedly  been  administered  temporarily  and  unintentionally,  in  the 
use  of  some  of  the  present  simplified  modes  of  pleading  and  practice,  by  adher- 
ing to  that  technicality,  which  was  complained  of  in  the  administration  of  the 
old,  the  new  forming  no  exception  to  the  rule,  that  it  takes  time  to  establish 
and  settle  innovations  of  any  kind,  in  whatever  part  of  the  social  system  they 
are  introduced.  Of  all  the  old  members  of  the  bar,  to  whom  I  have  referred,  I 
fail  to  remember  one  who  either  was,  or  ever  became,  a  politician,  in  the  tech- 
nical sense.  I  came  nearer  than  any  other,  except  Colerick,  who  was  a  mem- 
ber of  the  General  Assembly  twice  or  more,  I  believe,  being  a  member  of  the 
Senate  at  least  one  term.  I  was  a  member  of  the  House  of  Representatives  of 
the  General  Assembly  in  the  "  Harrison  "  year,  1840-41,  and  of  the  Consti- 
tutional Convention  in  3  850."  1427967 

The  Circuit  Court  President  Judges,  from  the  fii'st  organization  of  the 
county,  in  1832,  have  been  Charles  H.  Test,  now  of  Indianapolis,  commencing 
October,  1832 ;  Gustavus  A.  Everts,  commencing  May  term,  1833 ;  S.  C. 
Sample,  commencing  September  term,  1836 ;  Charles  W.  Ewing,  commencing 
May  term,  1837 ;  John  W.  Wright,  commencing  April  term,  1840 ;  James 
Borden,  commencing  April  term,  1842  ;  Elza  MoMahon,  commencing  Septem- 
ber term,  1851 ;  James  L.  Worden,  now  of  Fort  Wayne,  commencing  October 
term,  1855 ;  Reuben  J.  Dawson,  commencing  March  term,  1857 ;  Edward  R. 
Wilson,  commencing  March  term,  1800;  Robert  Lowry,  now  of  Fort  Wayne, 
commencing  March  term,  1865;  Hiram  Tousley,  commencing  March  term, 
1867 ;  James  D,  Osborne,  commencing,  by  appointment,  March  term,  1875 ; 
William  A.  W^oods,  commencing  December  term,  1873.  Judge  Woods  was 
elected  to  the  Supreme  Court  of  the  State  in  1880,  and  resigned  his  position  as 
Judge  of  the  Thirty-fourth  Judicial  Circuit.  James  D.  Osborne,  of  Goshen* 
was  appointed  by  the  Governor  to  the  vacancy,  December,  1880. 

Until  the  adoption  of  the  new  Constitution,  each  Circuit  Judge  had  seated 
with  him  on  the  bench,  two  Associate  Judges  elected  by  the  people  of  the 
county.  These  Associate  Judges  up  to  this  time  were  Luther  A.  Newton, 
1832;  Ephriam  Sceley,  1832;  Thomas  Spaulding,  1839;  Samuel  Wescott, 
1839;  Amos  Davis,  1844,  and  Joshua  T.  Hobbs,  1844. 

Separate  Probate  Courts  were  also  held  under  the  old  Constitution,  but 
when  the  new  Constitution  went  into  effect  in  1852,  all  this  class  of  business 
was  transferred  to  the  Common  Pleas  Court,  a  new  court  then  established. 
The  Probate  Judges  were  Elias  B.  Smith  and  William  S.  Prentiss.  The  Com- 
mon Pleas  Judges  were  Joseph  H.  Mather  and  E.  W.  Metcalf,  of  Elkhart 
County,  and  William  M.  Clapp,  of  Noble  County.  This  court  was  abolished 
in  1873,  and  all  its  business  transferred  to  the  Circuit  Court. 

Another  item  furnished  by  the  early  records  is  that  the  first  marriage 
license  issued  in  the  county  was  July  25,  1832,  to  join  together  in  the  holy 
bonds  of  matrimony,  Lewis  D.  Parish  and  Elizabeth  Cook.  Six  marriage 
licenses  were  issued  in  1833,  twenty  in  1834,  and  thirty-six  in  1835.     For  the 


30  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

last  few  years,  the  average  has  been  about  one  hundred  and  twenty.  Many 
connubial  knots  were  tied  over  the  line,  in  Michigan,  in  an  early  day,  and  the 
custom  is  not,  by  any  means,  yet  abandoned. 

The  first  application  for  divorce  was  made  at  the  October  term,  1839,  but 
the  cause  was  continued,  and  several  terms  thereafter  dismissed.  The  first 
divorce  granted  was  in  1840. 

The  first  murder  trial  in  the  county  was  occasioned  by  an  assault  of  a  party 
of  young  men,  of  Clay  Township,  upon  Jacob  Bean  and  some  members  of  his 
family,  in  December,  1861.  In  the  melee,  Jacob  Bean  was  struck  down  and 
his  neck  broken.  Three  persons  were  indicted,  but  only  one,  Hiram  Springer, 
found  guilty,  and  he  of  manslaughter.  He  was  sentenced  to  two  years'  impris- 
onment, but  was  relieved  by  the  decision  of  the  Supreme  Court  on  a  technical 
fault  in  the  records.  This  was  in  "  war  times,"  and  the  proceedings  were 
nolle  prosequied,  and  the  accused  endeavored  to  repair  his  record  by  gallant 
service  at  the  front. 

The  most  famous  trial  in  the  county  was  that  of  Stephen  Jenks,  for  the 
murder  of  George  Mallow,  of  Ontario,  which  was  commenced  in  September, 
1870,  and  concluded  at  a  special  term  in  December,  1870.  The  attorneys  engaged 
were  James  McGrew,  Prosecuting  Attorney,  assisted  by  Andrew  Ellison,  for  the 
State;  and  for  the  defense,  Joseph  D.  Ferrall  and  John  Morris,  of  Fort  Wayne. 
The  trial  lasted  fourteen  days,  and  during  the  entire  time  the  court  room  was 
densely  crowded,  and  excitement  at  a  high  pitch.  The  prisoner,  during  the 
trial,  was  quiet  and  undemonstrative,  apparently  taking  little  interest  in  the 
proceedings.  This  trial  was  the  first  one  in  the  county  in  which  the  defense  of 
insanity  was  made. 

The  defense  of  insanity,  however  applicable  it  may  have  been  to  Jenks, 
was  very  distasteful  to  the  people  of  the  county,  who  had  just  felt  an  indignant 
interest  in  the  acquittal  of  McFarland,  the  murderer  of  the  famous  war  corre- 
spondent of  the  New  York  Tribune^  Albert  D.  Richardson.  It  was  felt  that  it 
was  an  attempt  to  reproduce  sharp  New  York  criminal  practice  into  a  country 
where  justice  was  yet  dear.  The  sentiment  of  the  people  was  well  expressed 
by  the  following  editorial  remarks  in  the  Standard: 

"  The  advocates  of  paroxysmal  insanity,  as  a  defense  against  the  charge 
of  premeditated  murder,  may  congratulate  themselves  on  having  a  local  illus- 
tration of  the  beauties  of  their  doctrine  in  the  murder  of  George  Mallow. 
This  heartless  transaction,  which  has  chilled  the  blood  of  our  community  by 
the  heinousness  of  the  offense,  is  nothing  more  than  a  natural  outgrowth  of 
those  pernicious  teachings  which  seek  to  establish  the  doctrine  that  a  man  may 
take  the  life  of  his  fellow,  while  laboring  under  the  impression  that  he  has  been 
wronged,  and  that  his  angered  and  excited  feelings  shall  be  taken  as  an  apology 
for  the  crime.  *  *  *  It  is  high  time  that  cracked-brained  the- 
orists on  the  laws  of  insanity,  who  seek  to  make  their  doctrines  applicable  to  a 
defense  in   a  case  of  murder,  had   a  practical  illustration    of  the    dangerous 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  37 

nature  of  their  teachings.  The  world  is  well  stocked  with  moralizing  fools  that 
the  community  could  get  along  without." 

After  a  hotly  contested  trial,  the  jury  took  the  case  and  struggled  with  it 
several  hours,  and  then  brought  in  a  verdict  of  guilty,  and  fixed  the  penalty  at 
imprisonment  for  life.  A  severer  penalty  was  not  expected,  a^  the  impression 
prevailed  that  a  La  Grange  County  jury  would  not  sentence  to  death.  Public 
opinion  generally  acquiesced  in  this  result,  although  a  considerable  number  gave 
credence  to  the  defense  of  insanity.  The  case  was  appealed  to  the  Supreme 
Court,  and  the  judgment  reversed  on  the  ground  of  the  refusal  of  the  lower 
court  to  continue  the  case  for  the  introduction  of  further  evidence  for  the  de- 
fense. 

Before  the  case  was  retried,  Jenks  escaped  from  jail,  and  was  not  found 
again  until  1877,  when  he  was  discovered  quietly  working  in  a  Michigan  vil- 
lage, near  Saginaw.  Another  trial,  upon  a  change  of  venue,  was  then  had  in 
Elkhart  County,  and  the  same  sentence  imposed;  after  which,  further  defense 
was  abandoned,  and  Jenks  was  taken  to  the  penitentiary,  at  Michigan  City, 
where  he  still  remains. 

The  next  important  criminal  trial  was  of  Chauncy  Barnes,  for  the.  murder 
of  Addie  Dwight.  On  account  of  the  social  position  of  the  parents  of  the 
parties  to  this  tragedy,  and  the  mournfully  romantic  circumstances  attending 
this  sad  murder  of  a  young,  beautiful  and  virtuous  lady,  a  great  interest  was 
taken  in  the  trial.  A  special  term  of  court  in  December,  1871,  was  devoted 
to  this  case,  which  occupied  four  days.  A  considerable  number  of  witnesses 
were  called  in,  and  a  hotly  contested  trial  resulted.  The  defense  was  insanity, 
as  in  the  previous  trial,  and  the  verdict  was  also  identical ;  but  the  defense  was 
content  with  saving  the  life  of  the  young  man,  and  the  sentence  went  into  im- 
mediate effect.  These  cases  were  the  most  exciting  which  were  tried  in  the  old 
frame  court  house,  and  were  probably  the  occasion  of  the  greatest  display  of 
legal  acuteness  and  forensic  eloquence  in  the  history  of  the  county.  Judge 
Hiram  S.  Tousley  occupied  the  bench  during  the  first  trial  of  Jenks  and  at  the 
Barnes  trial,  and  his  rulings  were  generally  accepted  as  well  intended  and  im- 
partial. 

Public  buildings  were,  of  course,  a  necessity  at  once,  and  a  two-story  frame 
building  was  soon  erected  at  Lima,  in  which  to  hold  the  scales  of  justice  be- 
tween the  early  settlers.  But  as  soon  as  the  central  and  southern  parts  of  the 
county  began  to  emerge  from  the  status  of  a  wilderness,  and  become  settled,  the 
location  of  the  county  seat  became  the  dominant  local  question.  Lima,  it  was 
argued,  though  it  could  not  be  excelled  in  its  location  as  the  site  of  a  promising 
town,  was  not  central  enough  for  the  county  seat.  The  question  was  carried 
into  the  Legislature,  and,  at  first,  Lima  seemed  to  have  the  advantage;  but,  af- 
terward seeing  that  the  contention  would  be  productive  of  much  ill-feeling,  and 
that  the  question  would  never  be  settled,  even  if  temporarily  gained  for  her  side, 
Lima  finally  abandoned  the  strife,  and  the  geographical  center  was  harmonious- 


38  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

ly  agreed  upon  for  the  county  seat.  That  spot  was  found  in  a  hilly,  swampy 
spot  on  Fly  Creek,  covered  with  a  heavy  forest  and  partly  with  a  luxurious 
growth  of  blackberry  brambles,  which  it  required  many  years  to  exterminate. 
There  the  town  of  La  Grange  was  laid  out.  Two  land-owners,  Joshua  T. 
Hobbs  and  Reuben  J.  Dawson,  were  materially  benefited  by  this  creation  of  a 
new  town.  They  were  not,  however,  ungrateful  for  the  favor,  but  manifested 
their  appreciation  of  the  new  state  of  things  by  the  donation  of  grounds  for  a 
public  square.  On  this  a  substantial  and,  for  its  day  and  place,  a  really  fine 
building,  of  two  stories,  was  erected  in  1843  for  the  use  of  the  public  offices 
and  court.  It  was  a  commodious  building  in  its  day,  but  it  is  estimated  that  it 
would  only  comfortably  fill  the  court  room  in  the  present  court  house.  A  jail 
was  soon  after  erected,  which  long  remained  a  picturesque,  though  not  a  very 
secure,  abode  for  the  misdoers  of  the  county.  The  jail  proper  was  built  of 
logs,  and,  in  addition  to  the  iron-barred  doors  and  windows,  there  was,  for  se- 
curity, a  high  board  fence  put  around  the  cell  windows.  This  primitive  house 
of  refuge  was  used  for  thirty  years,  although  toward  the  last,  prisoners  of 
any  importance  were  taken  to  other  counties,  and  the  jail  became  also,  on  ac- 
count of  its  unhealthfulness,  no  longer  tenable.  A  new  jail  was  ordered  by 
the  Board  of  Commissioners  February  2,  1872,  and  W.  H.  Croker,  of  Grand 
Rapids,  Mich.,  was  employed  as  architect.  The  contract  for  building  was  let 
to  Messrs.  Brace  &  Reed,  of  Kendallville,  March  12,  1872,  and  the  house  was 
completed  and  occupied  in  February,  1873.  The  Sheriflf's  residence  part  is  two 
stories  in  height,  and  the  jail  part  one  story  above  basement.  The  foundations 
are  laid  with  bowlder  stone,  and  the  walls  above  of  brick,  the  outside  side  wall 
being  white  pressed  brick  manufactured  at  Grand  Rapids,  Mich.  The  jail  part 
is  well  cased  inside  with  iron,  and  so  constructed  as  to  make  escape  for  prisoners 
about  impossible.  The  first  cost  of  the  building  was  about  $29,000.  Since 
then  improvements  have  been  made  in  drainage,  and  otherwise,  to  the  extent  of 
some  $600. 

The  first  court  house  was  built  at  Lima  in  1833;  the  second  at  La  Grange 
1843;  the  third  was  determined  upon  by  the  County  Commissioners  at  their 
September  term,  1877.  The  two  first  were  wooden  structures,  of  temporary 
build,  without  vaults  or  facilities  for  safety  or  convenience.  The  latter  was  to 
be  permanent  in  structure  and  in  style  and  convenience  in  unison  with  the  day 
of  improvements.  Mr.  A.  J.  Smith,  of  Chicago,  was  first  engaged  as  archi- 
tect, but  a  difference  arising  between  him  and  the  Commissioners,  his  engage- 
jnent  was  dissolved  and  Messrs.  T.  J.  Tolan  &  Son,  of  Fort  Wayne,  were  em- 
ployed. The  general  outline  of  plan  for  the  building,  prepared  by  the  Auditor, 
Samuel  Shepardson,  and  the  Clerk,  Samuel  P.  Bradford,  and  adopted  by  the 
Commissioners,  was  then  placed  in  their  hands.  The  details  of  plan  and  the 
specifications  were  then  drawn  up  by  the  architects,  and  contractors  advertised 
for  to  put  in  bids  for  the  construction  of  the  building  April  24,  1878.  The 
bids,  in  sealed  envelopes,  were  handed  in  and  when  opened  were  found  to  be  as 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  41 

follows:  W.  H.  Myers,  Fort  Wayne,  $53,000;  0.  D.  Hurd,  Fort  Wayne, 
$48,365;  Crane,  Duncan  &  Co.,  Waterloo,  $54,690;  M.  D.  Brennemen  &  Co., 
Huntington,  $54,529;  John  L.  Farr  &  Co.,  Grand  Rapids,  $58,000;  J.  W. 
Hinkley,  Indianapolis,  $59,900;  James  E.  Shover,  $59,700;  Charles  Bosse- 
ker  and  John  Begue,  Fort  Wayne,  $46,700 ;  R.  W.  Ostrander  and  D.  0.  Porter, 
Kalamazoo,  $48,898.52;  Brace,  Reed  &  Ruick,  Eendallville  and  La  Grange, 
$48,758.  The  Commissioners  being  satisfactorily  assured  that  Messrs.  Bosse- 
ker  &  Begue,  the  lowest  bidders,  were  responsible,  and  satisfied  with  the 
bond  of  $30,000  offered  by  them,  that  the  work  should  be  done  in  accordance 
with  the  plans  and  specifications,  their  bid  and  bond  were  accepted  and  the 
work  at  once  commenced.  The  Commissioners,  in  addition  to  requiring  the 
architects  to  act  as  general  superintendents  of  the  work,  appointed  Samuel  P. 
Bradford  local  superintendent,  his  duty  being  faithfully  to  enforce  all  the 
conditions  of  the  contract,  to  inspect  all  materials  and  work,  to  make  estimates 
for  the  contractors  of  the  amount  due  them  on  the  contract  for  materials  and 
work,  and  in  no  case  to  estimate  any  objectionable  materials  or  work.  The 
work  was  then  taken  hold  of  and  pushed  satisfactorily,  materials  gathered,  foun- 
dations put  in,  and  on  the  15th  of  August,  1878,  some  two  thousand  citizens, 
pursuant  to  an  invitation  of  the  Commissioners,  met  to  witness  the  laying  of 
the  corner-stone.  The  ceremonies  were  simple  and  without  religious  formality 
and  civic  display,  short  speeches,  music  by  Odell's  Martial  Band,  the  Lima 
Silver  Band,  depositing  a  box  in  the  corner-stone,  the  placing  of  the  stone  and 
several  rounds  of  cheers,  constituting  the  whole  procedure.  Rev.  John  Paul 
Jones,  then  County  Recorder,  presided.  Hon.  John  B.  Howe  spoke  briefly. 
He  thought  he  was  probably  the  only  one  present  who  settled  in  the  county  as 
early  as  1833;  but  upon  calling  for  others  to  raise  their  hands,  if  any  were 
present,  nearly  a  dozen  hands  flew  up.  He  then  refei'red  to  his  early  life  in 
the  county,  as  a  law  student,  admittance  to  the  bar,  early  law  associates  and 
the  first  court  house.  The  changes  that  had  since  occurred  were  most  remark- 
able. The  progress  seemed  to  have  been  almost  too  rapid.  Few  things,  he 
said,  could  show  a  sharper  contrast  of  the  ability  and  disposition  of  the  people 
now  and  then,  than  the  court  house  first  erected  and  the  one  the  corner-stone 
of  which  was  now  to  be  laid.  The  cost  of  the  new  building  would  be  as  much 
as  the  whole  county  was  then  worth.  He  did  not  believe  in  very  expensive  and 
ornamental  court  houses.  They  should  be  like  justice  itself,  simple  and  unos- 
tentatious. .But  it  was  the  fashion  now  to  build  expensive  public  buildings, 
and  the  people  could  not  endure  being  out  of  fashion  and  away  behind  their 
neighbors.  He  was  willing  to  pay  his  part  and  only  referred  to  cost  as  a  matter 
of  contrast. 

Andrew  Ellison,  the  next  oldest  member  of  the  bar,  next  addressed  the 
meeting.  He  had  been  a  member  of  the  La  Grange  County  bar,  he  said,  thirty- 
six  years,  and  his  record  as  a  lawyer  was  scattered  through  the  records  of  the 
court  all  through  that  period,  and  he  was  willing  to  stand  by   the  record 


42  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

made.  Then,  taking  for  his  subject,  "The  Court  House — what  it  has  been,  is 
now,  and  its  future,"  he  spoke  at  some  length,  the  substance  only  of  which  was 
preserved.  The  word  court  house,  he  said,  was  distinctly  an  American  phrase. 
The  house  should  be  simple,  but  in  size  and  construction  should  be  distinguish- 
able from  all  others  in  the  community.  Then,  reviewing  in  outline  the  admin- 
istration of  justice  through  the  means  of  the  court  house  in  England,  from  the 
days  of  its  conquest  by  Caesar  to  the  present,  he  demonstrated  that  the  court 
house  was  the  corner-stone  upon  which  England  built.  The  mode  it  adopted  of 
settling  differences  between  citizens,  of  protecting  person  and  property,  which 
gave  rise  and  necessity  for  public  temples  of  justice,  had  banished  its  former  bar- 
barism and  developed  a  people  superior  to  all  others  in  physical,  intellectual 
and  moral  power,  on  the  face  of  the  earth,  except  possibly  the  American  peo- 
ple Our  jurisprudence  was  derived  wholly  from  England's,  and  it  had  likewise 
been  to  us  what  it  has  been  to  the  mother  country.  The  court  house,  the  mili- 
tary, or  the  mob  must  rule.  The  administration  of  justice  was  expensive,  but 
it  was  immensely  cheaper,  and  gave  better  protection  to  life  and  property.  The 
mob  at  Pittsburgh,  in  one  hour,  last  year,  destroyed  more  than  enough  to  run 
all  the  courts  in  the  United  States,  National,  State  and  county,  for  one  year. 
The  law  of  the  court  house  says  to  the  young  man,  buy  your  land,  develop  all 
you  can  out  of  it  and  I  will  protect  your  title  and  the  proceeds  of  your  hard 
toil.  The  administration  of  justice  was  by  no  means  perfect,  and  with  humanity 
as  frail  as  it  is,  could  never  be,  but  it  was  the  best  system  for  adjusting  differ- 
ences between  man  and  man,  and  of  protecting  life  and  property,  ever  devised. 
It  is  the  poor  man's  fortress  ;  without  its  protection  there  could  be  no  incentive 
to  industry  or  provision  for  the  wants  and  comforts  of  home.  Though  there 
had  been  no  religious  ceremonies  on  this  occasion,  every  stone  of  a  court  house 
rested  upon  the  Christian  religion.  Our  laws  were  based  upon  the  laws  of  God. 
All  writers  upon  law  recognized  this  fact.  The  more  our  laws  and  their  admin- 
istration were  in  harmony  with  God's  laws,  the  safer  would  it  be  for  the  people, 
and  the  greater  their  prosperity  in  all  that  contributes  to  happiness  here  and 
favor  in  the  sight  of  the  Almighty. 

The  contents  of  the  copper  box,  placed  in  the  cavity  of  the  corner-stone, 
were  read  by  Samuel  P.  Bradford,  and  were  as  follows : 

Copy  of  Acts  of  1832,  containing  act  organizing  the  county  ;  copy  of  Bar 
Docket  of  April  term,  1878,  Circuit  Court;  copy  of  La  Grange  County  Direc- 
tory ;  copy  of  the  Daily  Service  (a  camp-meeting  paper) ;  copy  of  the  La  Grange 
Standard,  Centennial  issue,  and  issue  of  the  day  ;  copy  of  the  La  Grange  Reg- 
ister, August  15,  1878  ;  copy  of  Wolcottville  G-azette,  August  9,  1878  ;  copy 
of  application  of  Farmers'  Rescue  Insurance  Company  ;  piece  of  three-cent 
scrip ;  six  Confederate  postage  stamps,  found  in  rebel  camp  in  Virginia  ; 
pieces  of  10,  25  and  5  cent  scrip,  different  issues;  names  of  members  of  Lima 
Silver  Band;  names  of  officers  of  incorporated  town  of<La  Grange;  manual 
of  the  common  schools  of  La  Grange  County;  coin  dated  1771  ;  25-cent  silver 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  43 

United  States  coin,  1877  ;  40-cent  silver  coin,  United  States  coin,  183-4  ;  silver 
coin  dated  1774  ;  two  pieces  of  scrip,  private  issue  ;  Swiss  medal ;  photograph 
copy  of  Neiu  England  Chronicle  and  Gazette^  1775 ;  premium  list  of  La- 
Grange  County  Agricultural  Society  ;  copy  of  School  Law  and  Acts  of  1877. 

After  the  box  was  placed,  Judge  William  A.  Woods,  Judge  of  the  Thirty- 
fourth  Judicial  Circuit,  and  ex  officio  Judge  of  the  La  Grange  Circuit  Court, 
being  introduced,  made  some  complimentary  and  facetious  allusions  to  the 
previous  speaker,  and  then  referred  at  some  length  to  the  practical  questions 
connected  with  the  administration  of  justice.  The  law,  he  said,  is  divided  into 
two  grand  departments,  that  which  protects  the  person,  and  that  which  protects 
property.  In  a  state  of  barbarism,  the  first  predominated,  and  in  advanced 
civilization  the  latter.  The  major  part  of  the  works  of  courts  now  was  in 
r.ispect  to  questions  involving  the  right  of  property,  and  for  that  reason  he 
believed  that  property  should  pay  the  expenses  of  courts,  and  that  poll  taxes 
should  be  abolished  or  made  very  light.  Two  days'  work  a  year  on  roads  and 
a  poll  tax  were  too  much  of  a  levy  upon  the  mere  person.  He  placed  the  court 
house  beside  the  schoolhouse,  the  church  and  the  family  circle,  and  paid  a 
tribute  to  the  homes  of  the  people.  The  virtues  inculcated  in  the  family  circle 
were,  after  all,  the  greatest  protection  of  the  people  as  a  whole. 

The  tackling  was  then  adjusted  to  the  cap  stone,  and,  guided  by  Judge 
Woods'  hands,  it  was  placed  in  position,  after  which  cheers  were  given  for  the 
court  house,  the  speakers,  the  contractors  and  the  laborers.  The  President  of 
the  day,  Mr.  Jones,  now  made  some  remarks,  referring  to  the  past,  congratu- 
lating the  people  upon  the  great  changes,  saying  he  felt  it  one  of  the  proudest 
occasions  of  his  life  to  preside  at  such  a  meeting  of  his  fellow-citizens,  and 
invoked  the  divine  blessing  upon  the  work  commenced,  and  upon  the  use  to 
which  the  building  when  completed  would  be  devoted.     The  inscriptions  upon 

the  corner-stone  are  as  follows  : 

(Eist  Face.) 

Corner  Stone 

Laid  with  Public  Ceremonies 

August  15,  A.  D.  1878. 

County  Organized 

May  14,  A.  D.  1832. 

Jacob  Vandevanter, 

Edmund  Littlefield, 

Arthur  Barrows, 

First  Commissioners. 

.Joshua  T.  Hobbs, 

First  Clerk. 

County  Seat  Located  at  Lima, 

A.  D.  1832. 

Removed  to  La  Grange, 

A.  D.  1844. 

First  Term  of  Court  Held 

October  22,  A.  D.  1832. 

(North    Face.) 


44  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

La  Grange  County, 

Hezekiah  Davis, 
Alanson  Blackmun, 
George  W.  Edgcomb, 

Commissioners. 

Samuel  Shepardson, 

Auditor. 

T.  J.  Tolan  &  Son, 

Architects. 

S.  P.  Bradford, 

Local  Superintendent. 

Bosseker  &  Begue, 

Contractors. 
Completed,  18 — . 

The  work  on  the  house  progressed  without  material  interruption  until 
March,  1879,  when  the  contractors  complained  they  were  losing  money,  and 
Avere  becoming  financially  embarrassed.  The  matter  was  finally  adjusted  on  the 
basis  of  the  appointment  of  Andrew  Ellison  on  the  part  of  the  contractors,  as 
their  agent,  to  receive  and  pay  out  the  money  on  the  contract  in  their  behalf, 
and  that  the  Commissioners  should  have  the  right  to  control  the  employment  of 
labor  and  the  purchase  of  all  materials  (not  then  covered  by  sub -con  tracts) 
required  to  complete  the  building,  the  county  to  pay  for  all  materials  and  labor 
in  excess  of  contract  price,  that  would  be  necessarily  required  to  fully  complete 
the  house. 

The  work  now  progressed  again,  the  work  completed  and  house  taken 
possession  of  by  the  county  November  13,  1879. 

The  size  of  the  building  is  sixty-four  feet  eight  inches  by  one  hundred  feet 
eight  inches,  with  two  stories  above  basement,  and  a  tower  built  from  basement 
up  centrally  through  the  building,  and  reaching  125  feet  from  grade  to  top  of 
finial ;  the  first  story  is  thirteen  feet  in  height,  and  the  floor  divided  centrally 
east  and  west  by  a  hall  twelve  feet  in  width;,  from  this  hall  a  stairway,  in  the 
dome  part,  leads  from  either  side  of  the  hall  to  the  hall  above,  and  another 
from  either  side  to  the  basement  below.  On  the  south  side  of  the  hall  are  the 
Clerk's  office.  Clerk's  vault.  Recorder's  vault.  Recorder's  office  and  Sherifi"'& 
office.  On  the  north  side,  the  Tax-payer's  room,  the  Treasurer's  office.  Treas- 
urer's vault,  Auditor's  vault.  Auditor's  office  and  Commissioners'  room. 

The  second  story  is  fifteen  feet  in  height.  On  the  second  floor,  fronting 
the  east,  is  the  court  room,  fifty-seven  feet  three  inches,  by  twenty-four 
feet  three  and  one-fourth  inches,  and  twenty  feet  in  height.  Opening  into 
it,  at  the  southwest  corner,  is  the  law  library,  and  at  the  northwest  cor- 
ner a  witness  room.  Double  doors  open  into  the  hall-way  on  west  side  of 
the  room ;  this  hall  is  same  size  as  below,  and  leads  to  the  Surveyor's  office, 
two  Petit  Jury  rooms,  one  Grand  Jury  room,  County  Superintendent's 
office  and  Janitor's  room.  From  the  Janitor's  room,  a  stairway  leads  to  the^ 
dome  above.  In  the  dome  are  three  floors.  On  the  first,  the  clock  room,  on 
the  second,  the  bell  room,  and  on  the  third,  the  dial  room. 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  45 

In  the  basement  are  four  vaults,  and  rooms  corresponding  in  size  with 
those  on  the  first  floor. 

The  foundation  is  laid  in  concrete,  with  tiling  two  feet  out  from  footing-stone 
and  four  inches  below ;  this  tiling  connects  with  a  drain  that  runs  into  Fly 
Creek.  The  footing-stone  are  limestone  rock  from  six  to  ten  feet  in  width, 
and  are  laid  in  a  floating  coat  of  mortar  on  the  concrete,  all  points  thoroughly 
filled  with  cement.  The  foundation  walls  built  on  the  footing-stone  are  of 
bowlder  stone,  all  split,  and  above  grade  rock  faced  with  quarter,  half-rounded, 
sunk -joint,  pointed  with  white  putty  mortar.  The  walls  above  the  foundation 
are  all  of  brick,  the  outside  being  of  a  superior  quality  of  pressed  brick  made  at 
Porter  Station,  Ind.,  and  the  inside  and  partition  walls  of  common  red  brick, 
manufactured  mainly  at  Fort  Wayne,  but  partly  in  this  county.  The  pressed 
brick  are  all  laid  in  putty  mortar,  with  smooth-pointed  joint. 

The  water-table  at  grade-line,  the  sills  and  caps  of  all  the  doors  and  windows 
are  of  cut  limestone,  from  Joliet,  111.  The  beams,  bars  and  trusses,  for  floors 
and  ceilings,  and  the  rafters  of  the  roof  are  of  wrought  iron,  the  ceilings  of 
corrugated  iron,  the  outside  moldings  of  galvanized  iron,  with  all  ornaments 
made  of  pressed  zinc.  The  roof  is  of  the  best  quality  of  black  slate,  14  inches 
wide  by  2  feet  long,  nailed  with  copper  nails.  The  floors  in  the  rooms  are 
of  oak  wood,  and  in  the  main  halls,  of  the  best  quality  of  black  and  white  mar- 
ble tile.  The  plastering  is  three-coat  work,  with  the  beat  of  material.  The  fin- 
ishing work  is  all  in  walnut  and  ash  alternately.  The  court  room  is  also  quite 
handsomely  frescoed.  The  whole  building  is  practically  fire-proof.  The  vaults 
are  absolutely  so.  All  the  rooms  are  supplied  with  water,  furnished  by  pipes 
leading  from  a  wind-mill  tank  on  the  jail  lot;  the  heating  is  by  stoves,  though 
the  building  is  constructed  for  furnace  heating,  should  it  ever  be  desired.  A 
cut  elsewhere  will  give  a  general  view — outside  view — of  the  structure.  The 
total  cost  of  the  building,  as  reported  in  Auditor's  annual  statement  for  1880, 
is  as  follows : 

Miscellaneous  expenses $  3,830  01 

Extra  sub-foundation 966  85 

Paid  T.  J.  Tolan  &  Son,  architects 1,144  00 

Paid  Commissioners,  for  extra  sessions 233  50 

Paid  contractors,  Messrs.  Bosseker  &  Begue 47,445  30 

Paid  in  excess  of  contract 7,879  00 

Total $61,498  66 

The  total  cost  to  tax-payers,  for  improvements  upon  Court  House 
Square,  from  September  1,  1877,  to  June  5,  1880,  is  as  follows : 

New  Court  House $61,498  66 

Tower  clock  and  bell 1,517  45 

Furniture  for  new  Court  House 3,735  07 

Real  estate  purchased  (west  part  of  Court  House  Square) 4,127  13 

Grading  court  yard 797  01 

Total  cost $71,675  32 


46  '  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

The  next  season  the  public  square  was  inclosed  with  an  iron  fence,  costing 
about  $2,500,  making  the  total  cost  of  the  erection  of  the  building,  the  furnish- 
ing, extension  of  the  public  square,  grading  and  fencing,  less  than  $75,000. 
The  whole  was  paid  for  as  fast  as  the  work  was  done,  the  county  neither  bor- 
rowing nor  owing  a  dollar  after  its  completion.  The  county  is  now  supplied  with 
public  buildings  good  enough  for  a  century  to  come,  and  without  a  dollar  of 
indebtedness  to  carry. 

The  learned  professions  should  occupy  a  good  share  of  the  history,  if  all 
that  they  have  done  toward  the  development  of  the  present  social  life  were  pos- 
sible to  be  grasped  and  treated  of.  But  a  slight  sketch  of  the  history  of  these 
classes  of  our  citizens  can  at  least  be  given.  Of  the  bar,  that  very  important 
factor  in  modern  life,  that  "  necessary  evil,"  as  some  of  our  worthy  people  re- 
gard it,  that  praiseworthy  band  of  students  and  advisors,  as  many  of  those  out- 
side the  bar  concur  with  those  inside  in  regarding  the  legal  fraternity — of  the 
bar  little  can  be  said  except  in  praise.  Its  early  members  have  already  been 
mentioned.  At  that  time  a  rigid  requirement  of  examinations  before  admission, 
of  which  a  hint  is  given  in  Mr.  Howe's  reminiscences,  had  a  tendency  to  make 
the  bar  more  exclusive  than  at  the  present  day,  and  no  doubt  its  members  were 
prouder  of  their  associations  or  had  more  reason  to  be,  on  the  side  of  legal  cult- 
ure than  an  Indiana  lawyer  of  the  present  day  can  be,  when  any  one  can  be 
admitted  to  the  bar  on  motion.  The  requirements,  which  Avere  really  too 
rigid  in  those  days,  might,  with  great  profit,  be  the  requirements  of  to-day. 
But  La  Grange  County  has  fairly  ranked  with  the  neighboring  counties  in  the 
legal  repute  of  its  attorneys.  Mr.  John  B.  Howe,  a  gentleman  of  culture,  and 
an  earnest  student,  even  in  his  later  years,  of  social  problems,  soon  took  the 
front  in  the  La  Grange  bar,  and  among  the  lawyers  of  the  State.  His  argument 
in  the  Constitutional  Convention,  on  the  declaration  of  rights,  is  yet  referred 
to  as  among  the  wisest  and  ablest  utterances  in  that  convention. 

Ranking  next  with  him  in  local  repute,  as  a  lawyer,  was  Andrew  Ellison. 
He  became  distinguished  for  the  pertinacity  and  energy  with  which  he  fought 
his  cases,  never  yielding  when  he  thought  he  had  any  footing  until  the  case  was 
won  or  the  highest  tribunal  had  decided  against  him.  During  the  Regulator 
period,  when  the  courts  had  their  greatest  flood  of  business,  he  was  employed 
as  the  attorney  for  several  of  the  indicted  horse-thieves  and  counterfeiters,  and 
with  the  whole  community  against  him,  he,  with  his  characteristic  persistence 
and  defiance  of  public  sentiment,  fought  the  cases  through,  and  got  most  of  his 
clients  either  acquitted  or  released  upon  some  technicality  after  conviction.  The 
bitterness  engendered  during  these  exciting  times  lasted  many  years  and  marred 
the  happiness  of  many.  Mr.  Ellison,  after  enjoying  for  many  years  the  hon- 
orable position  of  senior  member  of  the  bar,  retired  from  practice,  as  his  old 
friend,  Mr.  Howe,  had  done,  to  pursue  the  quieter  pursuit  of  banking. 

Among  others  who  won  some  notoriety,  was  James  M.  Flagg,  of  Lima, 
who  was  for  many  years  at  the  bar,  and  noted  for  his  acuteness  and  sharp  tricks 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  47 

with  his  professional  brethren,  and  those  who  were  unprofessional  and  unsophis- 
ticated. His  practice  soon  reached  such  a  stage  that  he  was  compelled  to  give 
it  a  new  field  by  going  further  west  and  establishing  himself  at  Chicago. 

Joseph  B.  Wade,  who  has  been  from  childhood  a  resident  of  the  county,  was 
admitted  to  the  bar  in  1857,  and  is  still  practicing.  Robert  Parrett  moved  to 
the  county  previous  to  1860,  and  was  gaining  an  enviable  reputation  as  an 
attorney,  when  the  war  broke  out  and  he  fell,  one  of  its  early  victims,  with  the 
rank  of  Major  in  the  One  Hundredth  Indiana  Volunteers.  Joseph  W.  Cummings, 
a  native  of  the  county,  was  admitted  a  little  later.  He  removed  to  Toledo,  where 
he  has  taken  first  rank  professionally  and  as  a  citizen.  A.  B.  Kennedy  was 
one  of  the  ante-Avar  attorneys  and  enjoyed  for  many  years  a  prominent  position 
at  the  bar,  especially  in  probate  matters.  He  died  from  overwork.  Resolutions 
of  respect  were  made  by  the  bar  at  a  meeting  held  in  his  memory. 

Joseph  D.  Ferrall  began  practice  in  La  Grange  in  1865,  and  has 
since  gained  a  prominent  position  at  the  bars  of  this  and  neighboring 
counties.  W.  C.  Glasgow  was  admitted  about  the  same  time,  and  held 
for  some  years  the  position  of  Prosecuting  Attorney,  and  now  stands  in 
the  front  rank.  George  A.  Cutting,  admitted  about  1870,  was  winning 
a  high  position  as  a  lawyer  wh^n  he  died  from  consumption,  which  had 
long  been  hampering  him,  in  1881.  The  remaining  attorneys,  who  have  prac- 
ticed of  late  years,  are  Abner  S.  Case,  John  P.  Jones  (both  formerly  County 
Clerks),  Cyrus  U.  Wade  (formerly  Prosecuting  Attorney),  Francis  D.  Merritt, 
James  S.  Drake  (now  Prosecutor),  Otis  L.  Ballou  (now  Master  Commissioner), 
Samuel  P.  Bradford  (now  Clerk),  E.  T.  Cosper  and  Edgar  McClasky.  Some 
of  the  attorneys  of  neighboring  counties,  who  have  in  past  years  or  do  now  prac- 
tice extensively  at  the  La  Grange  bar,  are  Judge  John  Morris,  Hon.  John  H. 
Baker,  Judge  W.  A.  Woods,  Isaac  E.  Knisely,  Augustus  A.  Chapin  and  James 
I.  Best. 

The  office  of  Prosecuting  Attorney,  in  the  districts  of  which  this  county  has 
been  a  part,  has  been  filled  by  members  of  the  La  Grange  bar,  as  follows  :  By 
Joseph  D.  Ferrall,  from  1866  to  1868  ;  Wesley  C.  Glasgow,  from  1873  to  1877  ; 
Cyrus  U.  Wade,  from  1877  to  1879 ;  James  S.  Drake,  from  1879  to  the  pres- 
ent, his  second  term  expiring  1883. 

In  the  first  settlement  of  a  new  country,  the  physician  is  a  first  necessity. 
And  there  are  always  among  the  pioneer  physicians  those  who  have  a  real  or 
imaginary'  ability  to  treat  successfully  all  cases  that  may  fall  under  their  care. 
The  habits  of  the  pioneers  being  simple,  and  having  plenty  of  food,  fresh  air, 
keeping  good  hours,  with  exercise  in  abundance,  the  diseases  are  also  of  sim- 
ple character,  yielding,  generally,  readily  to  the  most  ordinary  remedies.  Tu- 
bercular diseases,  now  so  common  in  our  county,  were  unknown  for  ten  years 
after  the  first  settlement.  Some  of  the  early  settlers  report  that  intermittent 
fevers  were  unknown  to  them  for  some  five  years,  and  were  only  developed  after 
considerable  quantities  of  land  were  broken  up.     Dr.  Hill  was  the  first  in  the 


48  HISTORY  OF  LA.  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

county  who  claimed  to  be  a  physician.  He  came  in  with  the  immigrants  of  1828 
or  1829.  The  Doctor  professed  to  be  a  "  regular  "  in  practice,  but  having  con- 
fidence in  the  flora  of  the  woods,  he  confined  himself  to  the  simple  remedies  that 
he  found  in  abundance  around  him.  He  is  said  to  have  filled  his  saddle-bags 
with  roots  and  herbs  without  a  cent  of  expenditure  ;  to  have  traversed  the  coun- 
try between  St.  Joseph  in  Michigan,  and  Fort  Wayne,  Ind.,  staying  with  the 
sick  whenever  he  found  them  until  they  recovered  or  died.  Quinine,  or  the 
preparations  of  Peruvian  bark,  he  never  used,  depending  upon  the  use  of  the 
bark  of  dogwood  and  ironwood  to  break  the  intermittents,  and  he  claimed  that 
the  ague  broken  by  these  remedies  was  less  apt  to  return  than  when  treated  by 
quinine  and  the  Peruvian  barks.  His  cathartic  and  alterative  calico-root  grew 
on  the  edges  of  the  marshes,  and  wild  turnip,  and  blood-root,  his  specific  for 
pneumonia,  were  found  abundant  in  the  woods.  He  claimed  to  have  never  bled 
his  pneumonia  cases,  and  that  he  scarcely  ever  lost  a  case.  This  happy  result, 
in  this  class  of  cases,  if  true,  was  just  the  reverse  of  that  resulting  from  the 
bleeding  and  reducing  remedies  then  in  vogue  among  the  regular  practitioners. 
Obstetrical  practice  was  confined  to  certain  old  ladies,  and  as  tedious  and  pro- 
tracted labors  in  hearty  and  robust  persons  leading  an  active  life  were  rare,  they 
had  little  or  no  trouble.  One  of  these  old  ladies  reported  that,  in  a  protracted 
labor  occurring  in  the  family  of  one  of  the  first  settlers.  Dr.  Hill  was  sent  for, 
and  after  many  weary  hours  had  passed,  he  concluded  that  artificial  means  were 
necessary  to  save  the  mother,  and  attempted  to  perforate  the  skull  of  the  child, 
but  failing,  went  ofi"  to  a  neighboring  house  to  prepare  a  more  efficient  instru- 
ment. While  he  was  gone,  nature  rallied  to  her  task,  and  when  the  Doctor 
returned,  he  found  the  child  ushered  into  the  world  all  right,  except  that  its 
scalp  hung  in  shreds  from  the  effects  of  his  attempts  at  perforation.  The  old 
gentleman  was  amazed,  and  remarked  that  that  boy  was  the  hardest-headed  lit- 
tle devil  he  ever  saw,  for  he  had  not  strength  enough  to  perforate  its  skull. 
The  boy  survived  and  the  unobliterated  scars  were  seen  by  living  physicians  in 
his  manhood. 

Dr.  J.  T,  Hobbs  came  about  1830,  and  Dr.  Hill  relinquished  the  field  to 
him.  He  at  once  took  nearly  the  whole  practice  in  this  and  the  adjoining 
counties.  The  Doctor  was  a  native  of  Maryland,  a  graduate  of  Bowdoin  in 
Maine,  and  a  real  gentleman.  His  wife  was  an  intelligent  woman  of  strong 
character,  and  materially  assisted  him  in  laying  the  foundation  of  a  large  fort- 
une. The  Doctor  was  elected  the  first  Clerk  of  the  county,  the  office  of  which 
was  then  at  Lima.  His  wife  attended  mainly  to  the  duties  of  the  office,  leaving 
him  free  to  attend  to  his  practice  and  his  other  growing  interests.  She  bore 
bira  two  children,  the  oldest  of  which  died  some  ten  or  twelve  years  ago. 
The  younger  daughter  still  survives,  and  is  the  wife  of  Dr.  S.  H.  Bassinger, 
another  pioneer  physician.  Dr.  Hobbs'  health  failing  him,  he  left  the  county 
about  1850,  moved  to  Mount  Vernon,  Ohio,  -and  subsequently  to  Sandusky, 
where  he  died  a  few  years  since,  leaving  a  large  fortune,  the  executors  of  which 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  51 

are  Mr.  S.  K.  Ruick  and  Henry  L.  Taylor,  of  this  county.  Among  the  medi- 
cal pioneers  was  Dr.  James  Chapman,  still  remembered  by  some  as  wandering 
around  on  an  old  pony  in  a  saddle  with  rope  girth  and  rope  stirrup  straps,  and 
the  inevitable  saddle-bags.  The  Doctor  was  a  native  of  Connecticut,  and 
claimed  to  be  a  regular  physician,  was  a  stanch  Presbyterian,  and  was  down 
on  all  innovations  in  medicine  or  theology.  At  that  time,  there  was  a  man  who 
practiced  as  a  Thompsonian,  and  was  to  Dr.  Chapman  a  great  eye-sore.  The 
latter  used  to  relate  many  anecdotes  of  the  collisions  between  calomel  and 
jalap  vs.  No.  6.  The  Doctor  broke  down  mentally,  gave  up  the  practice  of 
medicine,  but  carried  around  with  him  religious  books  and  tracts,  pitied  but 
respected  by  all.  A  commission  was  appointed  to  take  measures  for  the  pro- 
tection of  his  pi'operty.  He  said  it  was  a  commission  "de  enquircndo  lunatico," 
and  that  they  brought  him  in  insane  on  all  points  except  theology  and  medicine. 

Dr.  J.  Bolton  Smith  came  to  Lima  in  1832.  He  was  a  gentleman  of  the 
Old  School,  wore  the  ruffled  linen  in  fashion  in  the  early  part  of  the  century, 
and  preserved  the  dignity  of  the  profession.  For  a  time  before  he  left,  he  gave 
up  his  profession  of  medicine  and  took  up  the  practice  of  law.  An  anecdote  is 
told  of  him  that  he  acted  as  Justice  of  the  Peace  in  the  trial  of  a  case,  and,  as 
it  was  of  some  importance,  he  called  Squire  Littlefield  to  assist  him  in  the  case. 
The  oath  he  administered  the  witnesses  was  after  this  form  :  "  In  the  presence 
of  God  and  of  Edmund  Littlefield  you  do  solemnly  swear  to  tell  the  truth," 
etc.  The  Doctor  finally  went  to  St.  Louis,  where  he  died  of  cholera  in  1842. 
At  the  same  time  he  was  at  Lima,  there  was  there  another  Dr.  Smith,  who, 
making  much  pretension  to  phrenology,  was  distinguished  from  the  other 
Smith,  as  Dr.  Bump  Smith.  Both  Smiths  were  students  of  Dr.  Duncomb,  of 
Canada,  whose  daughter  the  Dr.  Bump  Smith  married. 

Dr.  Francis  Jewett  catne  to  the  county  in  1834.  He  died  in  Lima  in 
1857.  Dr.  Weeks  practiced  in  Lima  from  1835  to  1837.  He  is  now  a  physi- 
cian in  Chicago,  and  has  considerable  reputation  in  the  profession.  Then  fol- 
lowed Dr.  Palmer  in  1838,  whose  favorite  remark  was  that  he  had  saved  many 
a  patient  even  after  he  had  a  predilection  to  pick  the  clothing.  He  left  in 
1848.  Dr.  Parry  came  in  1839,  and  practiced  in  Lima  for  ten  years,  and  then 
moved  to  California  with  the  first  emigration.  When  last  heard  from,  he  was 
still  living  there.  Dr.  Fox  was  at  Lima  from  1836  to  1842,  when  he  moved  to 
Wisconsin,  where  he  stands  high  in  his  profession,  and  has  made  a  handsome 
competence.  Dr.  Holbrook  came  in  1842,  stood  well  professionally,  had  many 
and  warm  friends,  but  soon  wearying  with  the  hardships  of  his  ride,  he  moved 
to  California.  He  now  resides  at  San  Francisco,  where  he  has  a  fine  reputa- 
tion. Dr.  Thompson  took  Dr.  Holbrook's  practice  in  1850,  married  in  the 
Kinney  family  at  Lima,  practiced  sixteen  years,  and  then  went  to  Missouri,  and 
was  for  some  time  surgeon  and  physician  to  the  State  Prison  in  that  State.  Dr. 
George  Fletcher  followed  Dr.  Thompson  at  Lima,  and  was  the  principal  physi- 
cian there  from  that  time  until  he  gave  up  the  active  duties  of  his  profession, 
and  moved  to  Iowa  some  five  years  since.  c 


52  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

Dr.  Pritchard  settled  at  Lexington  in  ]  843  ;  he  practiced  there  four  years, 
and  died  of  pneumonia  in  1847.  He  was  followed  by  Dr.  Reupert  in  1848. 
He  entered  the  service  in  the  war  of  the  rebellion  as  Assistant  Surgeon  of  the 
Thirtieth  Indiana  Volunteers,  and  died  in  hospital  at  Nashville,  Tenn. 

The  first  physician  at  La  Grange  was  Dr.  Brown,  who  settled  there  in 
1842.  He  was  a  cousin  of  the  celebrated  John  Brown,  of  Harper's  Ferry 
notoriety,  a  gentleman  and  Christian,  and  highly  esteemed  by  the  whole  com- 
munity. He  died  of  malignant  erysipelas  at  the  Haw  Patch  in  1852.  Dr. 
Butler,  a  brother-in-law  of  Dr.  Brown,  succeeded  to  his  practice.  He  was  a 
man  of  great  perseverance,  a  warm  friend  and  a  bitter  enemy,  and  especially 
to  slavery  and  its  advocates.  He  died  of  consumption  in  1854.  Dr.  J.  P. 
Niman,  still  practicing  at  La  Grange,  was  invited  by  Dr.  Butler  to  a  partner- 
ship and  assisted  him  and  succeeded  him  in  his  practice.  Dr.  Thompson  came 
to  La  Grange  in  1856,  and  was  there  during  the  epidemic  of  dysentery  that 
prevailed  that  year  so  extensively  that  hardly  a  family  escaped,  and  from  which 
there  were  a  large  number  of  deaths. 

The  Sheldons,  four  brothers,  and  all  practitioners  of  medicine,  commenced 
their  practice  at  Union  Mills  (now  Mongo) ;  B.  F.  and  William  Sheldon  came 
there  in  1838.  In  1840,  Franklin  Sheldon  moved  to  South  Bend,  where  he 
died  next  year.  The  other  three  brothers  did  nearly  the  entire  practice  in 
the  east  part  of  the  county  for  some  twelve  or  fifteen  years ;  William  died  in 
1854  or  1855  of  diarrhoea  contracted  while  on  a  journey  through  Mexico ; 
Franklin  is  also  dead.     They  were  all  men  of  ability  and  character. 

For  the  foregoing  items  in  respect  to  the  medical  profession,  we  are 
indebted  to  Dr.  George  H.  Dayton,  of  Lima,  who  settled  at  Ontario  in  1846^ 
then  a  prosperous  and  lively  place  with  great  prospects.  The  Doctor  is  a  native 
of  New  Jersey ;  was  educated  at  the  University  of  New  York,  three  years  in 
the  Literary  Department,  and  studied  medicine  under  the  celebrated  Dr.  Val-  * 
entine  Mott,  and  afterward  graduated  in  the  Medical  Department  of  the  uni- 
versity. He  has  for  many  years  stood  at  the  head  of  his  profession  in  the 
county,  and  is  more  consulted  in  difficult  cases  than  any  other. 

Many  physicians  whose  names  cannot  now  be  recalled  have  come  and 
gone.  Among  those  who,  in  later  years,  became  permanent  residents  and 
acquired  more  general  acquaintance  are  Dr.  Abner  Lewis,  of  Haw  Patch,  who 
had  an  extensive  practice  in  that  part  of  the  county,  and  afterward  at  La 
Grange.  He  served  one  term  in  the  State  Senate,  and  subsequently  moved  to 
Iowa,  where  he  still  resides.  Dr.  J.  H,  Dancer,  of  South  Milford,  was  for  many 
years,  and  is  yet,  the  principal  practitioner  in  the  southeastern  part  of  the 
county.  Dr.  A.  M.  Spaulding,  of  Applemanbutg,  has  held  a  like  share  of 
the  practice  in  Springfield  Township.  In  the  northwestern  part  of  the  county, 
Drs.  Toms  &  Grubs  have,  for  a  number  of  years,  held  the  principal  practice. 
A  number  of  physicians  have  been  located  at  Wolcottville.  Dr.  Leonard 
Barber  was  one  of  the  earliest,  if  not  the  first,  practitioner  there,  and,  until 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  53 

his  death  in  1875,   was  the  leading  physician  in  the  southern  part  of   the 
county 

Dr.  E.  M.  Speed  located  at  La  Grange  in  April,  1856,  and  had  an  exten- 
sive practice.  He  was  appointed  Assistant  Surgeon  of  the  Forty-fourth  Regi- 
ment Indiana  Volunteers  in  July,  1864,  and  immediately  after  his  arrival  to 
the  command  at  Chattanooga,  Tenn.,  was  taken  sick,  when  he  was  carried  to  the 
Officers'  Hospital  on  Lookout  Mountain,  where  he  died  a  few  weeks  after.  Dr. 
Francis  P.  Griffith  came  to  La  Grange  in  May,  1858,  and  was  associated  for 
some  time  with  Dr.  Speed  in  practice.  He  was  elected  Representative  to  the 
Legislature  in  1862  and  in  1864,  and  has  held  several  responsible  clerkships  at 
Washington,  and  was  Census  Supervisor  for  the  northeastern  counties  of  the 
State  in  1880.     He  is  still  in  practice. 

Dr.  E.  G.  White  came  to  the  place  in  1857  ;  has  had,  and  yet  has,  an  exten- 
sive practice.  He  served  some  two  years  as  Acting  Assistant  Surgeon  United 
States  Volunteers,  in  the  Nashville  hospitals,  during  the  war.  He  has  been  for 
some  twelve  or  thirteen  years  pension  examiner  for  the  Government.  Dr.  J.  H. 
Rerick  came  to  the  place  in  1859:  entered  the  service  in  1861,  as  Assistant 
Surgeon  of  the  Forty-fourth  Indiana  Volunteer  Infantry,  at  the  organization  of 
the  regiment ;  was  promoted  Surgeon,  and  served  with  the  command  until  its 
muster  out  September,  1865.  At  the  close  of  the  war,  he  and  Dr.  White  were 
associated  together  in  practice.  In  1867,  he  bought  the  La  Grange  Standard^ 
and  entered  the  editorial  profession ;  was  elected  Clerk  of  the  Circuit  Court  in 
1860,  and  in  1864,  serving  eight  years.  He  is  still  proprietor  of  the  Standardy 
and  devoting  his  attention  exclusively  to  the  printing  business.  Dr.  James  Mil- 
ler practiced  at  La  Grange  a  number  of  years,  and  was  Assistant  Surgeon  in 
the  Thirtieth  Indiana  Volunteer  Regiment  a  short  time.  He  moved  to  Iowa 
about  1879.  Dr.  A.  Cutting  moved  to  the  town  in  1864,  from  Ohio,  and  has 
frequently  been  employed  as  consulting  physician.  The  present  physicians  at 
La  Grange  in  active  practice  not  above  mentioned  are  Dr.  William  Short,  Dr. 
John  Short,  Dr.  H.  M.  Casebeer,  Dr.  Charles  H.  Niman,  son  of  Dr.  J.  P. 
Niman,  and  Dr.  Engle.  Dr.  Newton  G.  Eno  practiced  a  few  years  at  Lima ; 
was  Assistant  Surgeon  of  the  Eighty-eighth  Indiana  Volunteers,  from  January, 
1863,  to  November,  1864,  when  he  resigned.  He  is  now  a  resident  of  Iowa, 
and  still  in  practice.  Dr.  William  Hughes  came  from  Ohio  to  Lima  in  1870, 
and  has  an  extensive  practice  there.  Dr.  C.  D.  Goodrich  also  settled  there  a 
few  years  since,  and  is  in  practice. 

The  county  has  always  made  ample  provision  for  its  paupers.  A  farm  was 
first  bought  north  of  La  Grange  for  the  asylum,  but  this  not  proving  a  desira- 
ble location,  it  was  sold,  and  160  acres,  three  miles  south  of  La  Grange,  were 
purchased,  and  suitable,  though  plain  and  inexpensive,  buildings  were  erected. 
Here  the  poor,  dependent  on  the  county  for  support,  are  sent  and  cared  for, 
except  in  those  cases  where  temporary  aid  is  needed,  and  can  be  given  at  home 
by  the  several  Township  Trustees.     In  February,  1871,  there  died  Dr.  David 


54  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

Rogers,  one  of  the  first  settlers  of  Clearspring  Township,  an  eccentric  old  man 
and  bachelor,  who  at  one  time  had  an  extensive  practice  as  a  physician.  In  his 
will,  made  in  1868,  he  bequeathed  all  his  real  estate  in  the  county  "  to  the 
Commissioners  of  the  County  of  La  Grange  and  their  successors  in  oflSce  in 
trust  forever,  for  the  use  and  benefit  of  the  orphan  poor  and  for  otheip  destitute 
persons  of  said  county."  The  heirs  of  Dr.  Rogers  contested  the  will,  basing 
their  claim  on  the  indefiniteness  of  the  bequest,  and  carried  their  case  to  the 
Supreme  Court,  where  the  will  was  finally  sustained.  No  special  disposition  is 
made  of  this  fund,  as  yet,  by  the  Commissioners. 

The  following  valuable  statistics  are  thought  to  be  of  sufficient  public  inter- 
est to  warrant  their  appearance  in  the  history  of  the  county : 

VOTE   OF   THE    COUNTY   AT    PRESIDENTIAL    ELECTIONS. 

1836 — Van  Buren,  Democrat,  150 ;  Harrison,  Whig,  128 ;  Democratic 
majority,  22.  1840 — Harrison,  Whig,  391 ;  Van  Buren,  Democratic,  225  ; 
Whig  majority,  166.  1844— Clay,  Whig,  598 ;  Polk,  Democrat,  457 ;  Birney, 
Abolitionist,  38;  Whig  majority,  108.  1848— Cass,  Democrat,  686;  Taylor, 
Whig,  629  ;  Van  Buren,  Free  Soil,  114  ;  Democratic  plurality,  7.  1852— 
Scott,  Whig,  667  ;  Pierce,  Democrat,  667  ;  Hall,  Free  Soil,  117  ;  tie  between 
principal  parties.  1856 — Fremont,  Republican,  1,406  ;  Buchanan,  Democrat, 
640  ;  Fillmore,  American,  6  ;  Republican  majority,  760.  1860 — Lincoln. 
Republican,  1,695 ;  Fusion  (Democratic),  775 ;  Republican  majority,  920. 
1864 — Lincoln,  Republican,  1,588  ;  McClellan,  Democrat,  796 ;  Republican 
majority,  787.  1868 — Grant,  Republican,  1,945;  Seymour,  Democrat,  1,076  ; 
Republican  majority,  869.  1872 — Grant,  Republican,  1,868  ;  Greeley,  Lib- 
eral, 830 ;  Republican  majority,  1,033.  1876 — Hayes,  Republican,  2,205  ; 
Tilden,  Democrat,  1,256  ;  Peter  Cooper,  National,  63  ;.  Republican  plurality, 
949 ;  Republican  majority,  886.  1880— Garfield,  Republican,  2,367  ; 
.Hancock,  Democrat,  1,393;  Weaver,  National,  116;  Republican,  majority, 
858  ;  Republican  plurality,  974. 

The  vote  by  townships  at  this  election  was  as  follows : 

Gakfield.  Hancock.  Weaver.      ' 

Van  Buren 102  93  34 

Newbury 153  108 

Eden 128  139 

Clearspring 208  150/  1 

Clay 181  142  18 

Lima 248  78  11 

Creenfield 175  59  42 

Bloomfield  456  230  1 

Johnson  252  123  4 

Milford 154  200  3 

Springfield 220  71  2 

Total 2,367  1,393  116 

The  vote  for  Governor  at  the  October  election  the  same  year  was :  Por- 
ter, Republican,  2,307 ;  Landers,  Democrat,  1,374 ;  Gregg,  National,  129. 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  55 

The  Legislative  act,  authorizing  the  organization  of  La  Grange  County, 
was  approved  by  the  Governor  of  the  State  February  2,  1832,  and  the  first 
election  of  county  officers  occurred  in  August  of  the  same  year.  The  first 
term  of  court  convened  October  22,  1832,  the  officers  of  which  were — Charles 
H.  Test  (now  Judge  of  the  Criminal  Court  at  Indianapolis),  Judge ;  Luther 
Newton  and  Ephraim  Seeley,  Associate  Judges ;  Joshua  T.  Hobbs,  Clerk  > 
Nehemiah  Coldren,  Sheriff";  Joshua  Harding,  Coronor.  The  County  officers 
since  the  first  organization  of  the  county,  so  far  as  we  can  trace,  have  been  as 
follows : 

Probate  Judges. — Elias  B.  Smith  and  William  S.  Prentiss. 

Associate  Judges. — Ephraim  Seeley  and  Luther  Newton,  1832 ;  Thomas  J. 
Spaulding  and  Samuel  Westcott,  1839 ;  Joshua  T.  Hobbs  and  Amos  Davis, 
1844. 

C/gr^s.— Joshua  T.  Hobbs,  1832-38;  William  M.  Holmes,  1838-45; 
Delavin  Martin,  1845-46;  James  B.  Howe,  1846-53;  John  P.  Jones,  1853- 
61 ;  Abner  S.  Case,  1861-68;  Eugene  V.  Case  (appointment),  1868-69;  John 
H.  Rerick,  1869-77;  Samuel  P.  Bradford,  1877. 

Sheriffs.— D2.me\  Harding,  1832-35;  John  Brown,  1835-37;  William 
Phelps,  1837;  Peter  L.  Mason,  1837-39;  Frederick  Hamilton,  1839-43; 
James  Rawles,  1843-47;  John  Briscoe,  1847-49;  William  Hopkins,  1849- 
53;  Gabriel  McEntyre,  1853-55;  Zopher  L.  Scidmore,  1855-57;  William 
Cummings,  1857-61;  William  Selby,  1861-65;  John  S.  Merritt,  1865-67; 
James  M.  Marks,  1867-72;  Thomas  C.  Betts,  1872-76;  Nelson  Stacy,  1876- 
80  ;  Edwin  Temple,  1880. 

Auditors.— VQtex  L.  Mason,  1841-45;  Simon  W.  Cutler,  1845-52; 
Hugh  Hamilton,  1852-57;  L.  N.  Beers,  1857-58;  Peter  N.  Wilcox,  1858- 
66;  Isaiah  Piatt,  1866-74;  Samuel  Shepardson,  1874. 

Treasurers.— Thomo,^  Gale,  1832-37;  Jonathan  Woodruff,  1837-44; 
Samuel  Bartlett,  1844-53;  Elijah  W.  Weir,  1853-57;  Parley  R.  Cady,  1857- 
61 ;  John  W.  Welch,  1861-65 ;  Jacob  Newman,  1865-69 ;  Samuel  Shepard- 
son, 1869-73;  Samuel  G.  Hoff,  1873-77;  John  E.  Anderson,  1877-81 ;  John 
M.  Preston,  1881. 

Recorders.— Ddividi  St.  Clair,  1832-37;  J.  T.  Hobbs,  1837-43;  John 
Kromer,  1843-55;  Ozias  Wright,  1855-56;  Abner  S.  Case,  1856-60;  Henry 
Nichols,  1860-68;  John  C.  Gurnea,  1868-72;  John  P.  Jones,  1872-80; 
Eugene  V.  Case,  1880. 

Commissioners. — Jacob  Vandevanter,  1832  ;  Edmond  Littlefield,  1832; 
Arthur  Barrows,  1832  ;  Isaac  Gage,  1833  ;  J.  F.  Rice,  1833  ;  Arthur  Barrows, 
1834  ;  Jesse  Champlin,  1834 ;  David  Smith,  1834  ;  William  S.  Prentiss,  1834; 
Palmer  Grannis,  1835;  James  McConnell,  1836;  L.  M.  Dewey,  1837;  Shel- 
don Martin,  1837  ;  Philo  Taylor,  1838  ;  Ira  Hill,  1839  ;  Palmer  Grannis,  1840; 
Robert  Hume,  1840;  Benjamin  Jones,  1840-45;  Abram  Rowe,  1841-44 ; 
Samuel    Corey,    1843-46;    Nehemiah    Coldren,    1844-50;  Jacob  T.    Grove, 


56  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

1845-57  ;  Timothy  Field,  1846-49  ;  Sidney  Keith,  1848-52 ;  Hiram  Taylor, 
1850-56;  Andrew  Ellison,  1851-53;  Samuel  Hudson,  1852-58;  Hezekiah 
Davis,  1853-60 ;  Orvin  Kent,  1856-59 ;  James  Smith,  1858-76 ;  A.  J.  At- 
wood,  1859-65  ;  William  Seaborn,  1860-66 ;  Hiram  Smith,  1866-67 ;  R.  P. 
Herbert,  1867  ;  Hezekiah  Davis,  1867-79  ;  Almon  Dickenson,  1868-75  ;  A. 
Blackmun,  1875;  George  W.  Edgcomb,  1876,  Elias  Wight,  1879. 

School  Examiners. — County  School  Examiners  were  first  appointed  under 
the  act  of  1861.     From  June,  1861,  the   office  was   held  by  J.  H.  Danseur, 

George    Marks,  Hemenway,   and  Prof.    R.    Patch.     Under   the  new 

school  law  of  1865  : 

Prof.  R.  Patch,  1865-67  ;  Rev.  A.  Fitz  Randolph,  1868-69  ;  Rev.  Will- 
iam Cathcart,  1869-70  ;  S.  D.  Crane,  1870-71 ;  A.  Bayliss,  1871-73. 

The  duties  of  the  office  were  materially  enlarged  by  the  Legislature  of 
1872-73,  and  the  title  changed  to  County  Superintendent. 

A.  Bayliss,  1878-74 ;  S.  D.  Crane,  1874-75  ;  E.  T.  Cosper,  1875-76 ;  S. 
D.  Crane,  1876-81 ;  E.  G.  Machan,  1881. 

SENATORS    AND  REPRESENTATIVES. 

La  Grange  County  has  been  represented  in  the  State  Legislature  as  follows, 
the  dates  attached  showing  the  year  of  election  : 

In  the  Senate. — 1832,  Samuel  Hanna,  of  Allen  County ;  1839,  Ebenezer 
M.  Chamberlain,  Elkhart  County;  1841-43,  David  B.  Herriman,  Noble 
County  ;  1847,  Delavin  Martin,  La  Grange  County  ;  1850,  Joseph  H.  Defrees, 
Elkhart  County;  1852,  Thomas  G.  Harris,  Elkhart  County;  1856,  John 
Thompson,  La  Grange  County ;  1860,  C,  L.  Murray,  Elkhart  County  ;  1864, 
Robert  Dykes,  La  Grange  County  ;  1866,  Abner  Lewis,  La  Grange  County ; 
1868,  Abner  S.  Case,  La  Grange  County;  1872,  William  Bunyan,  Noble  County; 
1876,  Elijah  W.  Weir,  La  Grange  County ;  1880,  Henry  Hostetter,  Noble 
County. 

In  the  House  of  Representatives. — 1833,  David  H.  Colerick,  Allen 
County;  1834,  John  B.  Chapman,  Kosciusko  County  ;  1837-38,  D.  B.  Her- 
riman, Noble  County  ;  1840,  John  B.  Howe,  La  Grange  County  ;  1841,  John 
Thompson,  La  Grange  County  ;  1843,  Joshua  T.  Hobbs,  La  Grange  County  ; 
1844,  William  H.  Nimmon,  Noble  County;  1845,  T.  H.  Wilson,  Noble 
County  ;  1846,  John  Y.  Clark,  La  Grange  County  ;  1847,  George  W.  Sheldon, 
Noble  County;  1848,  Elijah  A.  Webster,  La  Grange  County;  1849,  Rufus  D. 
Keeny,  Noble  County. 

After  this  date  the  county  itself  has  been  entitled  to  a  Representative 
as  follows :  1850,  John  P.  Jones ;  1850-53,  Francis  Henry  ;  1854,  Will- 
iam Smith;  1856,  Samuel  P.  Williams;  1858,  John  Thompson;  1860, 
Samuel  Hudson ;  1862-64,  Francis  P.  Griffith  ;  1866,  William  Smith  ;  1868, 
Timothy  Field ;  1870,  Williamson  Rawles ;  1872,  William  Prentiss  ;  1874-76, 
Samuel  Harper;  1878,  0.  B.  Taylor;  1880,  0.  B.  Taylor. 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  57 

Joint  Representatives  for  Elkhart  and  La  Granc^e  Counties. — 1860,  Robert 
Parrett,  of  La  Grange  County  ;  1862,  Amos  Davis  of  La  Grange  County. 

In  the  Contention  for  Revision  of  Constitution  of  State,  1850. — From  the 
District  of  La  Grange,  J.  B.  Howe ;  for  La  Grange  and  Elkhart  Counties,  Joseph 
H.  Mather,  of  Elkhart  County. 

The  records  fail  to  show  who  represented  the  County  in  the  Senate  from 
1834  1o  1839 ;  also  the  Representative  in  the  House  in  1842.  With  these  ex- 
ceptions, the  above  list  is  probably  complete.  Until  the  adoption  of  the  new 
Constitution,  the  Senatorial  term  was  two  years,  and  the  Representative  term 
one  year.  Since  then,  the  Senatorial  term  has  been  four  years,  and  the  Rep- 
resentative term  two  years. 

CONGRESSIONAL  REPRESENTATION. 

La  Grange  County,  since  its  organisation,  has  been  represented  in  Congress 
as  follows:  1881-36,  by  Jonathan  McCarty,  of  Franklin  County;  1836-41, 
by  James  H.  Rariden,  of  Fayette  County  ;  1841-46,  by  Andrew  Kennedy, 
of  Delaware  County ;  1847-49,  by  William.  Rockhill,  of  Allen  County ; 
1849-51,  by  Andrew  J.  Harlan,  of  Grant  County  ;  1851-53,  by  Samuel  Bren- 
ton,  of  Allen  County;  1853-55,  by  Ebenezer  M.  Chamberlain,  of  Elkhart 
County  ;  1855-57,  by  Samuel  Brenton,  of  Allen  County  ;  1857-61,  by  Charles 
Case,  of  Allen  County  ;  1861-63,  by  William  Mitchell,  of  Noble  County  ; 
1863-65,  by  Joseph  K.  Edgerton,  of  Allen  County  ;  1865-67,  by  Joseph  H. 
Defrees,  of  Elkhart  County  ;  1867-73,  by  William  Williams,  of  Kosciusko 
County ;  1873-75,  by  Henry  B.  Saylor,  of  Huntington  County ;  1875-81, 
by  John  H.  Baker,  of  Elkhart  County  ;  1881  to  present,  by  W.  G.  Colerick, 
of  Allen  County. 

ANNUAL    EXPENDITURES. 

Total  amount  expended  for  county  purposes  for  the  year  ending 

November  1,  1837 %  1,367  83 

November  1,  1838 2,878  29 

May  1,  1839 , 1,686  08 

May  1,  1840 2,773  46 

May  1,1841 3,639  73 

May  31,1842 2,933  61 

May  31,  1843 no  rep' t. 

May  31,  1844 8,161  56 

May  31,1845 8,882  66 

May  31,1846 8,657  53 

May  31,1847 5,987  68 

May  31,  1848 9,145  07 

May  31,1849 7,231  96 

May  31,1850 7,109  74 

May  31,1851 6,529  22 

May  31,1852 6,231  47 

May  31,1853 4,790  67 

May  31,1854 ,  7,877  37 

May  31,  1865 4,470  00 


58  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

May          31,1856 7,087  56 

May          31,  1857 4,443  37 

May          31,  1858 6,381  08 

May          31,  1859 7,671  70 

May          31,  1860 8,923  24 

May          31,1861 10,537  30 

May          31,1862 11,710  58 

May          31,  1863 21,648  21 

May          31,1864 14,461  27 

May          31,1865 26,695  38 

May          31,1866 46,521  64 

May          31,1867 35,763  73 

May          31,1868 27,973  03 

May          31,1869 14,343  69 

May          31,1870 14,498  56 

May          31,  1871 19,208  61 

May          31,1872 19,650  31 

May          31,1873 41,846  79 

May          31,  1874 16,481  22 

May          31,  187o 17,176  65 

May          31,1876 18,368  37 

May          31.  1877 17,570  62 

May          31,  1878 30,484  79 

May          31,  1879 68,654  11 

May          31,  1880 64,350  07 

May          31,1881 30,466  45 

From  1861  to  1868  covers  the  period  of  war  expenses  ;  1873,  the  building 
of  a  new  jail,  and  1878-81,  the  building  and  furnishing  the  new  court  house. 
The   expenditures     of    this  county   fund,    raised    for   county    expenses 
alone,  were  for  the  year  ending  May  31,  1881,  as  follows : 

On  account  of  assessment  of  revenue $1,379  00 

On  account  of  agriculture  (show  license) 10  00 

On  account  of  books,  stationery  and  printing 1,068  07 

On  account  of  court  expenses  443  62 

On  account  of  county  officers 4,233  49 

On  account  of  highways  and  bridges 3,261  52 

On  account  of  jurors'  fees. 1,008  95 

On  account  of  poor 3,981  94 

On  account  of  public  buildings 7,617  95 

On  account  of  redemption  of  lands 64  19 

On  account  of  specific 1,912  59 

On  account  of  State  benevolent  institutions  and  insane 1,023  47 

On  account  of  bounty  for  fox  scalps 27  00 

On  account  of  public  ditches 1,205  91 

On  account  of  criminals 316  94 

On  account  of  estate  of  David  Rogers 2,911  81 

Total $30,466  45 

VALUATION  AND  TAXATION. 

Below  will  be  found  the  appraised  value  of  the  real  and  personal  property 

of  the  county,  the  rate  of  taxation  for  county  purposes,  and  the  total  average 


U  J^Z^-tZyC/^^?^^^^^^^ 


CO.  COMMISSIONER 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 


61 


rate  of  taxation  for  all  purposes,  State,  county,  township  and  town,  for  the  years 
named  : 


TEAR. 

Valuation  of  County. 

County  Tax  Rate  on  flOO 
Valuation. 

Average  Tax  Kate   for 

all  Purposes  on  8100 

Valuation. 

1844              ,           

$    636,703 
611,094 
866,073 
874,924 
911,424 
912,802 
947,346 
1,832,439 
1,397,573 
1,551,172 
1,723,830 
1,772,373 
1,794,966 
1,889,683 
1,893,542 
3,001,395 
3,145,157 
3,304,181 
3,216,734 
3,404,336 
4,178,206 
4,721,620 
4,639,106 
4,650,076 
4,934,879 
5,062,743 
4,919,022 
4,938,034 
5,216,051 
7,997,074 
8,140,867 
7,641,350 
7,735,990 
7,389,990 
7,442,005 
7,263,930 
6,316,585 
6,777,370 

$1    00 
50 
70 

70 
65 
55 
50 
60 
10 
40 
30 
30 
40 
30 
50 
40 
25 
25 
30 
40 
50 
1  20 
40 
60 
25 
25 
30 
70 
55 
20 
15 
30 
25 
53 
85 
41 
40 
40 

$2   21 
1  76 

1845           ■           

1846 

2  00 

1847 

2  18 

1848 

2  16 

1849 

1  Oi 

1850 

1  21 

1851  

1  08 

1852     

62 

1853                   

1  03 

1864                               

85 

18o5 

89 

1856 

1  07 

1857 

91 

1858 

1  08 

1859      

1  13 

I860         

92 

1861                                   

93 

1862 

1  10 

1863 

1  10 

1864 

1  14 

1865 

1  98 

1866 

1  33 

1867 , 

1  46 

1868       .                                

1  18 

1869 

1  13 

1870 

1  18 

1871 

1  46 

1872 

1  31 

1873 

98 

1874 

92 

1S75               

1  14 

1876 

1  OYi 
1  87J 

1  eif 

1  19 

1877 , 

1878 

1879 

1880 

1  25^ 

1  26f 

1881 

The  receipts  from  taxation  during  the  year  ending  May  31,  1881,  were 
as  follows : 

State  tax $   9,018  76 

New  State  House  tax 1,349  20 

State  school  tax 12,004  10 

County  tax 27,615  66 

Road   tax 8,325  53 

Township  tax 2,487  10 

Special  school  tax 11,294  78 

Township  tuition  tax 8,936  80 

School-bond  tax   (Town  of  La  Grange) 2,533  22 

Dog  tax 1,209  73 

Corporation  tax  (Town  of  La  Grange) 830  06 

TUa\ $85,304  94 


C  HAPTER    III. 

BT  J.  H.  KKRICK,  M.  D. 

EA.RLY  Roads,  Stage  Lines,  Mail  Routes,  etc.— Railways— County  Stock- 
Post  Offices— Outline  of  the  Growth  of  Religion— Spiritualism— Fouki- 
ERisM— The  Saints— Outline  of  the  Growth  of  Education— School 
Statistics— The  County  Press— Authorship— Politics— Secret  Societies 
—The  Blacklegs. 

THE  development  of  the  roads  in  the  county  marks  the  changes  of  the  last 
half-century,  as  clearly,  almost,  as  anything  else.  There  was  first  the  Indian 
trail,  allowing  travel  in  single  file  only,  by  man  or  beast,  then  the  common 
wagon  road,  then  the  stage  line,  the  plank  road,  and  finally  the  railroad.  The 
principal  Indian  trails  run  from  Mongoquinong  Prairie  to  White  Pigeon,  and 
to  Fort  Wayne  and  along  these  trails  the  first  wagon  roads  were  opened.  The 
road  from  Fort  Wayne  was  the  great  thoroughfare  for  many  years.  The  sur- 
plus grain  was  mostly  carried  over  it  to  market  at  Fort  Wayne,  whence  was 
brought  most  of  the  merchandise  used  in  the  county. 

In  the  summer  of  1836,  a  stage  coach  was  put  on  the  road  from  Lima  to 
Constantine,  Mich.,  to  which  point  boats  then  ran  on  the  St.  Joseph  River. 
This  line  was  opened  by  William  M.  Gary,  now  of  Carson  City,  Nev.,  and  was 
run  twice  a  week,  bringing  and  carrying  away  many  land  buyers ;  but  as  soon 
as  these  decreased  the  line  was  discontinued. 

La  Grange  County,  though  on  the  direct  line  for  travel  from  New  York  to 
Chicago,  and  thus  on  the  travel  belt  around  the  world,  was  unfortunately 
missed  by  the  east  and  west  thoroughfares  first  established,  and  is  even  yet. 
Detroit  and  Chicago  being  the  first  important  posts  in  the  northwest  travel  set 
in  between  them,  followed  by  stage  lines,  striking  the  counties  to  the  west,  leav 
ing  this  county  untouched.  Toledo  was  then  a  little  village  known  as  Vistula. 
An  effort  was  early  made  to  open  a  through  highway  from  Vistula  to  Chicago, 
which,  if  it  had  been  built,  would  in  all  probability  have  passed  through  the 
county,  and  have  made  its  history  in  development  and  population  greatly  differ- 
ent from  what  it  is.  On  the  20th  of  January,  1835,  Hon.  John  B.  Howe,  of 
Lima,  wrote  to  Gen.  Cass,  asking  his  influence  and  work  in  favor  of  an  appro- 
priation by  Congress  for  the  survey  of  such  a  road,  and  through  his  influence 
and  that  of  Gen.  Tipton,  then  one  of  the  Senators  from  this  State,  an  appro- 
priation of  $20,000  for  the  survey  was  made  March  3, 1835.  It  is  Mr.  Howe's 
recollection  that  about  $10,000  was  expended  in  surveying  and  laying  out  the 
road,  but  this  was  the  first  and  the  last  money  expended  on  it.  It  was  thought 
then  too  late  to  divert  the  travel  from  the  Detroit  line,  and  that  there  would 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  63 

not  be  enough  travel  for  two  roads  !  The  heavily  timbered  land  and  stiff  clay 
soil,  for  some  distance  west  of  Maumee  Bay,  had  a  material  influence  in  retard- 
ing and  discouraging  the  construction  of  the  route. 

In  1835,  a  road,  long  known  as  the  Vistula  road,  was  laid  out  from  the 
Elkhart  County  line  through  Lima,  and  on  through  the  county  toward  Vistula, 
and  subsequently  became  the  line  of  much  of  the  through  travel.  But  the 
principal  emigration  route  was  over  the  Defiance  road,  from  Defiance,  Ohio, 
which  intersected  the  Vistula  road  two  and  a  half  miles  east  of  Lima.  This 
road  was  authorized  by  act  of  the  Legislature,  in  1832.  In  the  same  year,  the 
Fort  Wayne  road  was  also  authorized,  and  the  report  of  the  viewers  filed  in 
November,  1832.  This  road  was  the  principal  line  of  traflfic,  nearly  all  the 
surplus  grain  for  market  and  merchandise  for  home  use  being  carried  over  it,  to 
and  from  Fort  Wayne.  This  continued  until  the  Michigan  Southern  Railroad 
was  built.  A  road  was  laid  out  from  Lima  to  Goshen,  in  1834,  and  another 
known  as  the  Baubaugo  road,  from  the  western  line  of  the  county,  through  La 
Grange,  and  directly  east  to  Angola,  in  1837.  At  the  March  term,  1837,  the 
County  Commissioners  appropriated  $150  to  build  a  bridge  across  Turkey 
Creek,  on  the  Perrysburg  road  ;  |300  on  State  road  from  Lima  to  Goshen ; 
$350  on  La  Grange  and  Baubaugo,  and  $1,000  on  Vistula  road  west  of  Lima. 
A  road  from  Northport  (a  vanished  town  on  the  north  side  of  Sylvan  Lake, 
Rome  City,)  to  Union  Mills  (Mongo),  was  laid  out  in  1839 ;  one  from  Lima 
to  Huntington,  Ind.,  January,  1840,  and  one  from  La  Grange  to  Wolcottville, 
in  March,  1842.  The  Huntington  road  is  now  known  as  the  Ligonier  road. 
These  were  the  first  and  more  important  common  roads  opened  in  the  county. 

About  1850,  an  epidemic  raged  quite  extensively  in  Northern  Indiana  for 
building  plank  roads.  It  was  upon  these  that  local  travel  was  to  be  made  a 
bliss  and  stockholders  were  to  realize  their  best  dividends.  The  people  of  this 
county  were  generous  enough  to  share  with  those  other  counties  in  this  delu- 
sion and  joined  in  the  construction  of  a  plank  road  from  Fort  Wayne  to  Stur- 
gis.  This  road  was  constructed  from  Fort  Wayne  as  far  as  Ontario,  the  line 
running  from  Kendallville  to  the  Fourier  Association  grounds  in  Springfield 
Township,  thence  to  Mongo,  then  called  Union  Mills,  and  from  there  to  Onta- 
rio. Traveling  upon  it  was  splendid  for  two  or  three  years,  until  the  plank 
began  to  decay.  Then  it  became  execrable.  Stockholders  found  that  only  loss 
could  result  in  its  maintenance  and  it  was  abandoned. 

The  first  railroad  talked  of  in  the  county  was  the  projected  Buffalo  & 
Mississippi  Railroad,  for  which  John  B.  Chapman,  Representative  from  Kos- 
ciusko County,  obtained  a  charter  at  the  General  Assembly  of  the  State  at 
the  session  of  1836-37.  This  road,  it  was  contemplated,  would  run  through 
the  northern  tier  of  counties  of  the  State.  The  County  Commissioners,  at  their 
November  term,  1838,  authorized  a  subscription  of  $500  stock  in  the  road, 
and  at  their  May  term,  1839,  granted  authority  for  the  issue  of  two  county 
bonds  of  $1,000  each  for  stock  in  the  road.     Books  were  opened  for  subscrip- 


64  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

tions  by  citizens  and  a  considerable  amount  was  subscribed.  But  the  project^ 
like  many  others  since,  failed  of  accomplishment.  Next  came  much  talk  and 
great  expectations  of  the  Michigan  Southern  Railroad,  and  it  was  once  confi- 
dently thought  that  that  company  would  have  to  avail  themselves  of  the  Buflfalo 
&  Mississippi  charter  in  order  to  reach  Chicago.  The  Chief  Engineer  of  the  com- 
pany came  to  Lima,  in  the  fall  of  1850,  to  see  Mr.  Howe  an-d  others  in  reference 
to  the  right  of  way,  etc.,  for  the  company;  but  Mr.  Howe  was,  at  the  time,  at 
Indianapolis,  a  member  of  the  State  Constitutional  Convention.  But  encour- 
aged by  the  demand  and  perseverance  of  the  citizens  of  Southern  Michigan, 
the  railroad  company  found  a  way  there  further  westward  before  entering  In- 
diana. But  the  building  of  that  line  so  far  northward  resulted,  after  a  time, 
in  the  necessity  of  the  air  line  route,  built  by  the  same  company,  from  Toledo  to 
Elkhart.  The  first  line  for  this  road  was  surveyed  through  the  southern  tier  of 
the  townships  of  the  county  and  would,  in  all  probability,  have  been  constructed 
on  that  line  but  for  extraordinary  activity  of  some  capitalists  at  Kendallville. 
The  county  was  thus  inclosed  on  the  north  and  south  by  two  great  thoroughfares, 
but  neither  quite  touching  it.  For  about  twenty  years,  all  the  surplus  products  of 
the  county  were  carried  to  these  roads,  materially  aiding  in  building  up  the  towns 
on  it  and  adjoining  the  county.  Probably  one-half  and  not  less  than  one-third 
of  the  trade,  development  and  prosperity  of  the  towns  of  Sturgis  and  White 
Pigeon,  on  the  north  line,  and  Kendallville  and  Ligonier,  on  the  south  line,  is 
owing  to  business  drawn  from  La  Grange  County.  But  for  this  circumstance 
the  towns  of  the  county  would  now  be  much  larger  than  they  are  and  the  pop- 
ulation at  least  one-half  more. 

It  was  not  until  the  Grand  Rapids  &  Indiana  Railroad  was  built,  that  the 
county  had  a  single  home  market.  The  agitation  for  this  road  commenced  in 
1855.  Joseph  Lomax,  of  Marion,  Grant  County,  was  the  first  and  principal 
originator  of  the  enterprise,  and  was  so  successful  in  arousing  the  people  along 
the  proposed  line,  that  many  put  part,  and  some  their  whole,  farms  in  subscrip- 
tion for  stock  ;  farms  being  one  of  the  commodities  accepted  for  stock.  Con- 
siderable work  was  done  on  the  line  in  the  county,  when  the  enterprise  com- 
menced to  languish,  and  work  was  finally  entirely  suspended.  But  the  com- 
pany managed  to  keep  up  a  feeble  existence,  got  the  land  grant  in  Michigan  re- 
newed after  the  expiration  of  the  time  first  fixed  for  the  completion  of  the 
road,  thus  keeping  the  hopes  of  the  people  alive  until  1869,  when,  under  a  new 
management,  with  Joseph  K.  Edgerton,  of  Fort  Wayne,  as  President,  and  who, 
as  Member  of  Congress  in  1863-65,  had  got  the  land  grant  renewed,  the  com- 
pany was  enabled  to  re-enlist  the  interest  of  the  people  to  such  an  extent  that 
about  $100,000  was  subscribed  by  individuals  in  the  county,  nearly  all  along 
the  line  of  road.  Under  this  stimulus  and  aid,  the  road  was  completed  through 
the  county.  The  first  locomotive  reached  La  Grange  from  Sturgis,  April  11, 
1870,  welcomed  by  the  roar  of  cannon,  and  music  by  the  band.  Flags  were 
swung  to  the  breeze,  smiles    brightened    every    face,  men    shook    hands,  then. 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  65 

thrust  them  down  into  their  pockets,  and  provided  means  for  a  sumptuous  din- 
ner at  the  hotels  for  all  the  track  layers  and  railroad  employes.  That  sea- 
son, the  road  was  completed  from  Sturgis  to  Fort  Wayne,  and  the  next  year 
from  Sturgis  to  Grand  Rapids,  Mich.  The  stock  taken  by  the  people  has 
been  almost  valueless  until  recently,  when  it  has  attained  a  value  of  10  cents 
on  the  dollar.  But  the  road  has  been  of  immense  benefit  to  the  county,  and 
few,  if  any,  who  took  stock  complain  of  the  investment.  It  has,  to  a  consider- 
able extent,  checked  the  outflow  of  trade,  and  furnished  good  markets  within 
her  own  borders,  where  farmers  can  sell  and  invest  at  home.  The  county, 
though,  will  continue  to  be  largely  contributary  to  outside  towns,  near  its  bor- 
ders, until  an  east  and  west  line  is  built  through.  There  have  been  a  number 
of  east  and  west  railroads  projected,  talked  of,  and  advocated  ;  and  in  January, 
1873,  a  county  election  was  held  on  the  proposition  to  appropriate  $98,000  in 
aid  of  a  projected  line  called  the  New  York  &  Chicago  Air  Line  Railroad.  The 
proposition  was  defeated  by  a  vote  of  1,520  against,  to  1,220  for.  This  line 
was  surveyed  to  run  centrally  through  the  county,  east  and  west.  The  financial 
crisis  coming  on  soon  after,  nothing  more  has  been  heard  of  that  enterprise. 
An  extension  of  the  Detroit,  Hillsdale  &  Northwestern  Railroad  through  the 
county  and  on  west  has  been  several  times  talked  of,  and  in  1880  was  strongly 
advocated,  and  quite  a  large  sum  of  money  was  subscribed  for  it,  in  the  north- 
eastern part  of  the  county.  This  project  is  liable  to  revive  at  any  time.  A 
narrow-gauge  route  from  Lake  Michigan  through  the  county  to  Toledo  was 
much  talked  of  also,  in  1880.  A  number  of  public  meetings  were  held,  and 
much  running  to  and  fro  caused,  but  that  was  all.  In  the  winter  of  1880-81, 
the  Lake  Shore  &  Michigan  Southern  Railroad  Company  had  a  preliminary 
survey  made  for  another  track  from  Toledo,  through  Angola  and  La  Grange,  to 
Goshen.  At  present,  all  these  projects  are  little  talked  of,  and  much  less  ex- 
pected to  culminate  in  any  real  construction.  In  1872,  a  line  for  the  Canada 
Southern  Railroad  was  surveyed  through  the  southern  section  of  the  county, 
subscriptions  taken,  right  of  way  obtained,  number  of  ties  delivered,  but  the 
financial  crisis  laid  that  enterprise  on  the  shelf  also. 

The  first  post  office  in  the  county  was  opened  at  a  farm  house  on  Mon- 
quinong  Prairie,  George  Egnew,  Postmaster,  in  1832.  The  post  office  at  La 
Grange  was  opened  in  1843,  with  Charles  B.  Holmes  as  Postmaster.  The  dates 
of  the  opening  of  the  other  offices  are  not  accessible.  There  are  now  sixteen 
offices  in  the  county — La  Grange,  Lima;  Scott,  Van  Buren  Township  ;  Ontario, 
Lima  Township;  Brighton  and  Greenfield  Mills,  Greenfield  Township;  Mongo 
and  Brushy  Prairie,  Springfield  Township;  South  Milford,  Milford  Township; 
Wolcottville,  Woodruff  and  Valentine,  Johnson  Township;  Steno,  Clearspring 
Township ;  Emma,  Eden  Township ;  Pashan  and  Shore,  Newbury  Township. 
The  La  (jrange  Post  Office  attained  to  the  third  class  (Presidential)  in  1872,  and 
is  the  only  one  of  that  class  in  the  county.  Until  the  railroads  were  built, 
the  mails  were  brought  from  Fort  Wayne  by  stage.     After  the  completion  of 


66  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

the  Michigan  Southern  routes,  they  were  brought  from  Sturges  and  Kendall- 
ville  in  like  manner.  Since  1870,  the  mails  have  been  forwarded  by  the 
Grand  Rapids  &  Indiana  Railroad,  and  are  distributed  to  the  county  from 
Kendallville,  Noble  County,  La  Grange  and  Lima.  The  present  star  line 
mail  routes  are  from  Lima  to  Ontario,  Brighton,  Mongo,  Brushy  Prairie  and 
South  Milford,  to  Kendallville,  tri-weekly ;  from  La  Grange  to  Steno,  semi- 
weekly  ;  from  La  Grange  to  Emma,  Shore  and  Pashan  and  Goshen,  semi- 
weekly  ;  from  White  Pigeon  to  Scott,  from  Orland  to  Greenfield  Mills,  from 
Wolcottville  to  Woodruff. 

The  first  preaching,  that  there  is  record  of,  in  the  county,  was  in  the 
vicinity  of  Lima,  in  1829,  by  Rev.  Erastus  Felton,  sent  out  by  the  Ohio  Meth- 
odist Conference  as  a  missionary  to  the  settlements  in  Southern  Michigan  and 
Northern  Indiana.  He  was  succeeded  in  1831  by  Rev.  Leonard  B.  Geerly. 
In  July,  1832,  Rev.  Christopher  Corey,  the  Pastor  of  the  Presbyterian  Church 
at  White  Pigeon,  Mich.,  came  over  to  Lima,  and,  taking  a  stump  for  a  pulpit, 
preached  to  the  people.  The  next  year  he  became  a  permanent  resident,  and 
is  yet  residing  at  Lima,  a  living  witness  of  all  the  remarkable  changes  of  half 
a  century,  and  can  trace,  not  only  there,  but  throughout  the  county,  the  in- 
fluences of  the  good  seed  sown,  at  the  beginning  of  the  settlement,  by  himself 
and  other  Christian  workers. 

Rev.  H.  J.  Hall,  a  Baptist  minister,  sent  West  by  the  Massachusetts 
Home  Mission  Society,  came  in  1833  and  located  a  little  north  of  the  town  of 
Lexington.  His  pastorate  was  brief,  owing  to  ill  health,  requiring  him  to  re- 
turn East.  Though  he  was  not  able  to  organize  any  societies  in  the  county, 
others  soon  followed,  by  whom  they  were  organized,  and,  in  1837,  g,  Baptist 
Church  was  organized  at  Wolcottville,  and,  in  1846,  another  at  Lima,  and 
since  in  several  other  localities  in  the  county.  The  Methodist  Mission  was 
dropped  in  a  few  years,  a  regular  circuit  formed,  and  this  was  followed  by 
division  into  other  circuits.  At  present  there  are  five  distinct  charges,  and 
some  twenty  local  societies.  The  Presbyterians  have  flourishing  churches  at 
La  Grange  and  Lima,  and  membership  in  different  parts  of  the  county.  The 
once  distinguished  Bishop  Philander  Chase,  of  Ohio,  preached  at  Lima  as  early 
as  in  1834;  other  Protestant  Episcopal  ministers  followed  him,  with  occasional 
services,  until  1851,  when  a  church  was  organized  at  Lima,  and  subsequently 
one  at  La  Grange  in  1872.  These  denominations  were  the  earlier  founders  of 
religious  societies  in  the  county. 

Individuals  connected  with  other  branches  were  as  early  here  as  any  of 
these,  but  we  have  no  record  of  organized  societies  by  other  churches  until 
1854,  when  three  church  societies  were  organized — a  Congregational  at  Lima, 
German  Baptist  (Dunkers),  in  Newbury  Township,  and  the  Evangelical  Lutheran 
at  La  Grange.  Still  other  churches  formed  societies,  but  at  what  dates  we 
have  not  been  able  to  learn — the  United  Brethren  in  Christ,  the  Free- Will 
Baptist,  the  Christian  or  Disciple,  the  Albrights,  Protestant  Methodist  and  Wes- 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  67 

leyan  Methodists.  The  La  Grange  County  Bible  Society  was  one  of  the 
earlier  religious  organizations.  At  a  meeting  of  its  Board  of  Managers  in 
March,  1839,  the  following  interesting  report,  prepared  at  the  time  by  a  com- 
mittee consisting  of  Revs.  H.  J.  Hall  and  Christopher  Cory,  was  presented 
and  adopted : 

"  During  the  past  year,  this  county  has  been  supplied  with  the  precious 
Word  of  Life.  At  a  period  almost  coeval  with  the  first  settlement  of  this 
county,  this  good  work  was  commenced  under  the  auspices  of  the  Bible  society 
in  St.  Joseph  County,  Mich.,  after  which  it  was  carried  forward  through  the 
instrumentality  of  a  very  few  of  our  own  citizens.  In  the  spring  of  1834,  this 
society  was  formed,  and  further  arrangements  were  made  from  time  to  time  for 
the  extension  of  this  river  of  life,  that  it  might  freely  flow  to  every  human 
habitation,  willing  to  receive  it,  within  our  bounds.  Yet,  notwithstanding  this 
work  was  commenced  at  so  early  a  period,  we  have  never  till  the  present  been 
permitted  to  say  it  is  finished.  But,  be  it  remembered,  this  work  is  finished 
only  for  the  present  time,  and  within  our  little  bounds.  Again  and  again  must 
the  feet  of  him  that  bringeth  glad  tidings  be  speeding  their  way  through  our 
villages,  our  prairies  and  forests,  to  the  cottages  of  the  poor  and  the  destitute, 
until  that  glorious  period  shall  come,  when  the  earth  shall  be  filled,  like  the 
overflowing  sea,  with  the  knowledge  of  our  God,  whose  spirit,  holy  and  divine, 
inspired  this  sacred  volume." 

The  agent,  Rev.  H.  J.  Hall,  employed  by  this  society  to  explore  this 
county  and  to  supply  the  destitute  with  the  Bible,  has  reported  the  following 
facts,  to  wit: 

"  This  county  contains  650  families,  3,657  inhabitants,  and  450  professors 
of  religion.  Among  those  who  made  a  public  profession  of  their  faith  in 
Christ,  209  belong  to  the  Methodist  denomination,  152  to  the  Presbyterian, 
72,  Baptist;  9,  Episcopalian,  and  6  to  the  Lutheran.  One  hundred  and 
seventeen  individuals  professing  to  have  passed  from  death  unto  life,  most 
of  whom  made  a  profession  of  religion  previous  to  their  coming  to  this  county, 
are  now  living  outside  of  the  inclosure  of  Christ's  kingdom.  In  this  county 
there  are  1,035  children  between  the  ages  of  five  and  fifteen  years,  of  whom 
only  278  have  attended  school  the  past  year  three  months,  leaving  757  who 
have  not  attended  any  school,  or  have  attended  less  than  three  months.  One 
agent  further  reports  that  he  found  eighty  families  destitute  of  the  Bible,  most 
of  whom  received  it  gladly.  May  they  find  in  it  the  hidden  treasures  of  eter- 
nal life.  Four  families  refused  this  precious  book,  thereby  shutting  out  this 
light  of  heaven  from  their  gloomy  habitations.  To  conclude,  let  the  friends 
of  the  Bible  be  encouraged  to  redouble  their  efforts,  knowing  that  their  labor  in 
the  Lord  is  not  in  vain,  and  that  in  due  season,  they  shall  reap  if  they  faint 
not.  C.  Corey,  Chairman  of  Committee." 

Here  we  have  a  close  enumeration  of  the  inhabitants  at  this  time,  a  showing 
of  their  religious  status,  and  a  classification  of  their  denominational  divisions. 


t)8  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

Only  four  families  of  the  whole  number  did  not  want  a  Bible.  Then  about 
one  in  every  eight  of  the  population  made  a  public  profession  of  faith  in  Christ ; 
now,  as  nearly  as  we  can  ascertain,  the  proportion  is  one  in  six. 

The  wave  of  spiritism  which  swept  over  the  country  in  an  early  day, 
did  not  neglect  La  Grange  County,  and  for  a  time,  between  1850  and  the  war, 
spirit-rapping  and  writing  and  like  phenomena  were  the  leading  sensation, 
and  the  cause  of  apparently  endless  discussion  between  those  who  saw  in  it  a 
divine  revelation  and  those  who  believed  it  to  be  the  manifestation  of  his 
Satanic  majesty,  walking  the  earth  seeking  whom  he  might  devour.  Numerous 
circles  were  formed  and  seances  held,  and  nearly  all  the  performances  of  the 
alleged  spirits  were  claimed  to  be  evoked  by  local  mediums.  Eloquent  and 
talented  lecturers  came  and  proclaimed  the  new  gospel,  boastfully  predicting 
its  future  supremacy  over  the  old  religion.  Spiritism  did  maintain  a  form  and 
substance  in  society,  more  or  less  influential,  for  some  twenty  years,  but  gradu- 
ally died  away,  until  little  is  heard  of  it  in  public.  After  the  lecturer  and 
medium  came  the  "  exposer,"  and  kept  up  considerable  excitement  concerning 
the  dying  cause.  Those  who  have  lived  through  it,  have  lived  to  see  the  cause 
of  so  many  exhibitions  of  hasty  credulity  on  one  side  and  so  much  anxious  fear, 
and  even  bigoted  persecution,  on  the  other,  gradually  lose  its  place  as  a  basis  of 
faith,  and  become  an  object  of  semi-scientific  experimentation. 

It  will  be  remembered  that  among  the  many  schemes  proposed  in  the  first 
half  of  the  century  for  changing  the  social  order  and  inaugurating  an  era  of 
good  feeling  and  heavenly  acting,  the  system  of  Charles  Fourier  attracted 
great  attention.  Into  different  forms  of  these  socialistic  schemes  went  young 
men  of  great  faith  in  humanity  and  its  possibilities,  but,  after  a  few  years, 
dropped  out,  with  little  faith  left,  and  a  resolution  to  bear  the  ills  we  have  in 
society  rather  than  sacrifice  themselves  in  a  vain  attempt  to  reconstruct  ii.  The 
society  organized  in  this  county  has  not  had  itself  perpetuated  in  romance,  as 
was  the  "Brook  Farm,"  by  Nathaniel  Hawthorne,  but  it  made  a  no  less  earnest 
efibrt  for  success,  and  had  a  pleasant  existence  for  several  years. 

The  history  of  this  organization,  as  far  as  it  is  handed  down  to  us,  is  full 
of  interest.  A  number  of  the  best  and  most  prominent  citizens  of  Springfield 
Township  were  the  founders  of  the  enterprise.  A  constitution  of  thirty  articles 
was  framed  in  1844,  upon  the  basis  of  Fourier's  doctrines  as  modified  and  pub- 
lished by  Albert  Brisbane,  of  New  York,  in  1843.  A  charter  was  granted  to 
William  S.  Prentiss,  Benjamin  Jones  and  Harvey  Olmstead,  by  the  Legislature. 
Other  members  who  joined  in  the  first  year  were  Jesse  Huntsman,  Alanson 
Mason,  William  Anderson,  John  H.  Cutler,  Eliphalet  Warner,  L.  H.  Stocker, 
Prentiss  H.  Evans,  William  Sheldon,  Dr.  Richardson,  Hart  Hazen  and  Margaret 
Wade.  The  name  chosen  was  the  rather  warlike  one  of  the  "  La  Grange 
Phalanx." 

Joseph  B.  Wade,  son  of  Margaret  Wade,  and  a  schoolboy  at  that  time, 
says  in  a  paper  on  this  subject:     "There  are  many  pleasant  recollections 


lA    B RANGE 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  71 

clustering  around  those  years,  when  120  people  from  Indiana  and  Michigan 
lived  under  the  same  roof  and  ate  at  the  same  table.  The  home  of  the  Phalanx 
was  a  house  210  feet  long  by  twenty-four  feet  wide,  and  two  stories  high,  with 
a  veranda  to  both  stories  on  the  front.  In  the  center  of  the  first  story  was  a 
dining-room,  forty  feet  long  by  twenty-four  feet  wide ;  immediately  above  the 
school-room,  which  was  large  enough  to  accommodate  the  children.  And  a 
better  controlled  and  managed  school,  it  was  never  my  fortune  to  attend." 

The  system  of  management  in  the  Phalanx  was  as  follows :  The  industrial 
department  was  managed  by  a  Council  of  Industry,  who  controlled,  laid  out, 
and  directed  all  of  the  agricultural  and  mechanical  departments,  upon  the  basis 
as  described  in  Article  XVI  (75  cents  per  day  of  ten  hours),  and  so  ordered 
that  ten  hours  of  the  man  who  plowed  were  paid  the  same  as  eight  hours  of  him 
who  grubbed.  The  Council  of  Commerce  had  under  its  supervision  all  the 
buying,  selling  and  traffic  of  the  Phalanx.  The  Council  of  Education  (made 
up  of  the  best  educational  talent)  had  the  entire  management  of  the  school  and 
educational  matters  in  the  Phalanx.  The  several  councils  consisted  of  three  or 
more  members,  of  which  the  President  was  one.  The  different  departments 
were  sub-divided  into  groups  of  from  three  to  eight  persons,  each  group  having 
its  foreman,  chosen  by  its  members,  who  reported  the  time  of  each  member  to 
the  Secretary  once  every  week,  in  days  and  hours. 

"  This  system  in  many  respects  was  advantageous  to  successful  labor,  and 
but  for  the  fact  of  too  little  care  in  taking  in  members,  might  have  been  suc- 
cessful and  popular  as  a  labor-saving  organization.  But  the  whole  thing  was 
new  and  untried,  and  many  adventurers  came  in,  some  for  want  of  a  home,  others 
to  winter  and  leave  in  the  spring.  I  do  not  doubt  that  the  prudent,  careful 
men  of  the  Phalanx,  after  disbanding  that  organization,  could,  with  their  years 
of  experience,  have  formed  one  that  would  have  been  a  step  in  advance  of  the 
old  isolated  system  of  living,  not  for  successful  industry  merely,  but  socially 
and  educationally.  This  Phalanx  was  wound  up  and  settled  by  William  Sea- 
burn  and  Ephraim  Seeley,  commissioned  as  provided  by  the  constitution,  without 
litigation,  in  1847  or  1848,  and  its  members  scattered,  leaving  only  at  this 
writing  (1876)  in  this  county,  Hon.  William  Prentiss  and  the  mother  of  the 
family  of  William  S.  Prentiss ;  Phineas  Huntsman,  of  the  family  of  Jesse 
Huntsman ;  Harvey  Olmstead,  the  writer  and  his  wife,  and  Mrs.  Ellen  Deal, 
daughter  of  Benjamin  Jones,  upon  whose  farm  the  Phalanx  was  located." 

At  about  the  same  time  as  the  Fourier  movement,  like  ideas  of  co-opera- 
tion, but  on  a  more  religious  basis,  gave  rise  to  an  organization  in  Lexington 
of  a  co-oporative  society  under  the  modest  title  of  "  The  Congregation  of 
Saints."  The  association  was  completed  March  5,  1843,  when  the  following 
preamble  was  adopted,  which  will  reveal  the  nature  of  the  proposed  remedy  for 
evils,  real  and  imaginary,  afflicting  society  : 

The  Congregation  of  Saints  at  Lexington,  La  Grange  County,  Ind.,  deeply  sensible  of  the 
innumerable  evils  which  aflaict  all  classes  of  society,  and  despairing  of  deliverance  tlirough  the 

D 


72  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

agency  of  our  present  social  and  political  systems  which  we  believe  are  at  variance  with  the 
principles  of  Christianity,  and  consequently  the  best  interest  of  man;  being  desirous  of  securing 
for  ourselves  constant,  and  as  far  as  possible,  agreeable  occupations,  just  dividends  and  the  advan- 
tage of  economy,  only  to  be  realized  in  association ;  and  to  establish  a  complete  system  of  edu- 
cation in  all  useful  and  elevating  branches  of  physical,  intellectual  and  moral  science,  together 
with  the  most  ample  provision  for  the  aged  and  afflicted  ;  and  above  all,  to  escape  from  the  per- 
petual conflicts  and  litigations  which  now  render  society  little  else  than  a  pandemonium ;  and 
which,  we  believe,  grow  out  of  the  present  systems,  and  out  of  the  depraved  nature  of  man  ;  do 
agree  to  unite  in  association,  and  to  purchase  and  cultivate  a  domain  of  from  two  to  six  thousand 
acres  of  land,  to  prosecute  such  branches  of  commercial,  mechanical,  scientific,  agricultural  and 
horticultural  employments  as  shall  be  conducive  to  our  good  ;  to  divide  the  products  of  the  labor 
among  ourselves  on  a  discriminating  scale,  by  which  each  shall,  as  nearly  as  possible,  reap  what 
he  may  sow  ;  to  abolish  the  distinction  of  master  and  servant ;  to  preserve  individuality  ;  to  se- 
cure the  rights  and  extend  the  privileges  of  women  ;  to  cherish  and  strengthen  all  the  tender 
ties  and  relations  growing  out  of  the  family  compact ;  to  enlarge  the  freedom  of  the  individual 
by  granting  to  all  varied  occupations,  and  the  selection  of  the  particular  branch  of  industry  for 
which  they  may  feel  an  attraction.  We  believe  that  we  shall  be  thus  enabled  to  put  in  practice 
the  two  divine  precepts — "  Love  thy  neighbor  as  thyself,"  and  "As  ye  would  that  others  should  do 
unto  you,  do  ye  even  so  unto  them." 

The  La  Grange  Freeman,  of  April  8,  1843,  in  which  we  find  the  articles 
of  association  of  the  Saints,  remarks  editorially,  in  referring  to  it :  "  What 
next!  And  what  is  to  be  the  end  of  all  these  associations?  Time  alone  will, 
reveal  the  results.  If  they  prove  beneficial,  we  shall  rejoice  ;  but  if  disastrous, 
awful  will  be  the  consequences.  The  matter  to  us  looks  dark."  A  contributor 
in  the  same  paper,  commenting  on  the  subject,  says  :  "  The  world,  at  this  day, 
Mr.  Editor,  is  full  of  expedients  for  improving  and  ameliorating  the  condition 
of  society.  Among  other  reformers  and  new  modelers  of  country  and  the 
world  we  have  the  Socialists,  the  Rationalists,  each  in  their  turn  inculcating 
their  peculiar  doctrines,  and  some  new  and  wonderful  discovery  about  to  en- 
lighten the  world,  renovate  the  earth  and  elevate  human  nature  above  the  wants, 
the  woes,  and  the  vices  which  have  so  long  afflicted  mankind.  *  *  * 
I,  for  one,  have  no  confidence  in  these  visionary  theorists,  these  philosophic 
and  intellectual  benefactors  of  mankind,  who  are  forming  for  us  new  principles 
of  association  and  government,  under  the  blessings  of  which  offenses  are  to 
cease,  and  men  to  become  peaceful  and  harmless  as  doves." 

Editor  and  contributor  proved  wiser  than  the  "  Saints,"  and  Fourierites. 
Both  associations  were  short-lived  ;  indeed,  the  "  Saints  "  hardly  got  organ- 
ized before  disorganization  commenced,  and  the  society  was  disbanded  before 
the  new  mode  of  living  was  tested.  No  open  advocates  of  these  theories  now 
remain.  But  for  these  reminiscences  very  few  of  this  day  would  know  such 
societies  were  ever  advocated  and  formed  in  the  county.  Though  unsuccessful, 
they  merit  a  recollection  as  evidences,  if  no  more,  of  the  intellectual  activity 
among  the  early  settlers. 

A  more  popular  and  exciting  theory  of  that  day  was  the  construction  of 
the  Scriptural  prophecies  preached  by  William  Miller,  to  the  effect  that  Jesus 
Christ  would  come  into  the  world  again,  some  time  between  March  21,  1843, 
and  March  21,  1844,     Several   Millorite  preachers  came  into  the  county  and 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  73 

held  revival  meetings,  at  wbich  there  was  great  excitement,  and  as  many  con- 
versions as  could  be  hoped  for  in  such  a  thinly  populated  country.  But  the 
sun  went  down  calmly  March  21,  1844,  and  the  world  still  went  on  in  its  old, 
old  fashion.  The  millennium  was  set  for  a  later  date,  and  another  "ism  "lost 
its  hold  upon  the  people. 

An  active  interest  in  the  cause  of  education  is  one  of  the  characteristics  of 
the  county,  from  its  first  settlement  to  the  present.  While  the  first  pio- 
neers were  wending  their  way  into  the  wilderness  here,  seeking  homes  for 
themselves  and  families,  a  member  of  an  infidel  club  at  Victor,  N.  Y.,  was  sit- 
ting at  the  feet  of  the  distinguished  evangelist,  Charles  G.  Finney,  a  humble, 
penitent,  and  then  an  enthusiastic  convert  to  the  Christian  faith.  This  man, 
Nathan  Jenks,  as  soon  as  he  came  to  answer  the  question,  under  the  new  light 
he  had  received,  "What  wilt  Thou  have  me  to  do,"  conceived  the  idea  of 
founding  an  educational  institute  somewhere  in  the  West,  modeled  somewhat 
after  the  Oberlin  Institute  of  Ohio,  then  the  favorite  of  Mr.  Finney,  and  of 
which  he  was  many  years  the  President.  Mr.  Jenks,  in  coming  West,  struck 
Ontario,  was  pleased  with  the  locality,  bought  land  and  settled  down,  and  soon 
proposed  his  favorite  project.  On  February  6,  1837,  an  organization  was 
effected,  a  Board  of  Trustees  elected,  and  the  La  Grange  Collegiate  Institute 
became  an  institution,  and  one  of  the  very  first  institutions  of  higher  education  in 
Northern  Indiana.  A  fuller  history  of  this  institute  will  be  found  in  the  Lima 
Township  record.  It  wielded  a  strong  and  healthful  educational  influence  for 
many  years,  lifted  hundreds  into  the  higher  range  of  intellectual  culture,  and 
was  materially  beneficial  to  the  cause  of  education  throughout  the  whole  coun_ 
ty.  When  it  was  proposed  in  the  new  constitution  of  1852  to  incorporate  the 
free  school  system,  the  people  of  La  Grange  County  were  at  the  front  urging  its 
adoption.  Before  this  the  schools  were  supported  almost  exclusively  by  indi- 
vidual subscription.  Since  then  as  exclusively  by  State  and  local  taxation.  At 
present,  and  for  some  years  past,  tuition  in  all  the  public  schools  has  been  en- 
tirely free  to  all  residents  of  the  respective  school  districts.  From  the  adoption 
of  the  new  constitution  to  1861,  the  teachers  were  licensed  by  a  board  of  three 
examiners.  Rev.  C.  Cory,  of  Lima,  served  several  years  on  this  board.  From 
this  time  until  1873  there  was  but  one  examiner  for  the  county,  the  office  being 
filled  during  that  time  by  Joseph  H.  Danseur,  one  year  and  five  months ; 
George  A.  Marks,  one  year ;  W.  H.  Hemenway,  ten  months  ;  Rufus  Patch, 
three  years  and  six  months  ;  A.  Fitz  Randolph,  one  year  and  nine  months ; 
William  Cathcart,  seven  months.  Now  came  a  radical  change  in  this  office, 
the  duties  being  so  enlarged  as  to  require  a  general  supervision  of  all  the  schools 
of  the  county.  The  name  was  also  changed  to  County  Superintendent,  and  the 
office  at  once  assumed  an  importance  before  unrecognized.  This  office  has  been 
filled  as  follows  :  S.  D.  Crane,  1870  to  1871 ;  Alfred  Bayless,  1871  to  1873  ; 
S.  D.  Crane,  1873  to  1874 ;  E.  T.  Cosper,  1874  to  1875 ;  S.  D.  Crane, 
1875  to  1831 ;  E.  G.  Machan,  1881  to  date.     With  the  office  of  County  Super- 


74  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

intendent  was  also  established  the  County  Board  of  Education,  consisting  of 
the  Superintendent,  the  Trustees  of  the  several  townships,  and  the  President  of 
the  School  Boards  of  incorporated  towns.  This  board  is  required  to  meet 
semi-annually,  to  ascertain  the  wants  and  needs  of  the  schools,  in  property  and 
text  books,  and  to  adopt  general  rules  of  management.  Under  this  system  ma- 
terial changes  have  been  wrought  in  the  school  management.  A  higher  grade 
of  qualification  for  teaching  has  been  enforced,  nearly  one-half  of  all  applicants 
for  teachers'  licenses  being  rejected;  school  work  has  been  better  systematized, 
recitations  arranged  so  as  to  secure  more  equal  advantages  for  pupils,  better 
class  of  text  books  adopted,  the  methods  of  instruction  improved,  more  attention 
given  to  analysis  than  mere  rule,  and  nearly  all  the  schools  put  on  a  graded 
course  of  instruction.  Nearly  all  are  now  graded,  and  arrangements  are  com- 
pleted by  which  pupils  who  finish  the  course  of  study,  adopted  October  17, 
1881,  will  receive  a  diploma  which  will  admit  them  to  any  high  school  in  the 
county  without  further  examination.  The  course  requires  nine  years  to  com- 
plete it,  and  as  it  is  arranged,  classes  can  be  graduated  from  each  school  every 
two  years.  The  marked  improvement  in  the  country  schools  of  the  county 
within  the  last  three  years  shows  the  wisdom  of  establishing  the  office  of  County 
Superintendent.  It  will  require  but  a  few  years  more,  with  the  hearty  co-op- 
eration of  patrons,  teachers  and  school  oflficers,  to  give  our  country  schools  the 
advantages  largely  of  those  in  the  towns.  Better  schoolhouses  have  been  and 
are  being  built,  and  all  are  being  supplied  with  greatly  improved  facilities  for 
illustration,  as  maps,  charts,  cards,  mathematical  blocks,  magnets,  globes  and 
other  apparatus. 

Another  part  of  the  school  machinery  is  the  County  Institute,  held 
once  a  year,  and  Township  institutes,  held  once  a  month,  in  each  township, 
during  the  school  months.  It  is  claimed  for  the  county  the  honor  of  having 
inaugurated  the  Institute  system  in  the  State,  the  first  Teachers'  Institute  being 
held  at  Ontario,  in  1846.  This  was  followed  the  next  year  (1847)  by  a  Nor- 
mal school  of  four  weeks'  term.  Normal  schools  are  yet  held  every  summer,  as 
a  private  enterprise,  on  the  part,  generally,  of  the  Superintendents,  but  greatly 
to  the  benefit  of  those  seeking  to  qualify  themselves  for  eff"ective  teaching. 

The  State  Superintendent,  in  his  annual  report  of  1880,  shows  the  follow 
ing  interesting  facts  pertaining  to  this  county  : 

Number  of  persons  of  school  age — from  six  years  to  twenty-one  years..  5,136 

Number  that  cannot  read  or  write 6 

Number  admitted  into  the  schools  for  year  ending  August  30,  1881 4,824 

Average  daily  attendance..  2,676 

Number  of  school  districts Ill 

Number  district  graded  schools 108 

Number  township  graded  schools 4 

Average  length  of  schools — Days 145 

Number  of  teachers — Male 86 

Number  of  teachers— Female 84  180 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  75 

Average  wages  of  teachers  per  day  : 

In  townships — Males fl.60 

In    townships — Females 1.29 

In  towns — Males .• 3.12 

In  towns — Females 1.50 

Total  revenue  fortuition , $44,688  81 

Total  revenue    for  special    school    purposes — building   schoolhouses, 

expenses  of  schools,  etc $17,250  71 

Number  of  schoolhouses — Brick 17 

Number  of  schoulhouses — Frame 95  112 

Value  of  school  property $181,893  00 

Volumes  in  township  libraries 2,048 

Amount  paid  Trustees  during  the  year  for  sei-vices  in  connection  with 

the  schools $525  00 

At  the  organization  of  the  county,  one  section  of  land  in  each  Congres- 
sional township  was  set  apart  for  school  purposes,  its  proceeds,  when  sold,  to 
be  invested  as  a  permanent  fund,  and  the  interest  to  be  applied  to  a  tuition  fund 
of  the  respective  townships.  All  this  land  was  sold  some  years  ago.  The  total 
amount  of  the  principal  of  the  Congressional  fund  held  in  trust  by  the  county 
May  31,  1881,  was  $17,576.80.  There  are  three  different  funds  used  for  the 
education  of  the  children  of  the  State — the  Congressional  fund  above  mentioned  ; 
the  Common  School  Fund,  made  up  from  various  sources  by  the  State,  and 
which,  on  the  1st  of  June,  1880,  amounted  to  |6, 616,112. 04  ;  of  this  amount, 
$3,904,783.21  is  in  the  form  of  a  negotiable  bond  of  the  State,  and  the  rest 
in  money  distributed  to  the  several  counties,  pro  rata,  held  in  trust  by  the 
counties  and  loaned  to  the  citizens.  The  constitution  of  the  State  prohibits  the 
reduction  of  the  principal  of  either  of  these  funds,  which  now  aggregate  the 
immense  sum  of  $9,065,254.73,  equal  to  $12.88  per  capita  of  those  of  school 
age.  The  amount  of  the  Common  School  Fund,  held  in  trust  by  La  Grange 
County,  May  31,  1881,  was  $21,621.68,  making  the  total  school  funds  held  in 
trust,  Congressional  and  Common  School,  $39,198.48.  To  the  interest  derived 
from  these  sources  of  school  revenue,  there  is  each  year  a  levy  by  the  State  of 
sixteen  cents  on  each  $100  valuation  of  property,  which  is  twice  a  year  dis- 
tributed to  several  counties  in  proportion  to  enumeration  of  children.  Another 
source  of  revenue  for  tuition  is  made  by  town  and  township  levies,  which  they 
are  permitted  to  make  to  an  extent  not  to  exceed  25  cents  on  each  $100.  These 
two  taxes,  added  to  the  interest  on  the  Congressional  and  Common  School 
funds  are  for  the  tuition  of  the  children.  For  the  building  of  schoolhouses,  repairs, 
furniture,  apparatus  and  incidental  expenses,  each  township  and  town  levies 
a  special  school  tax,  to  an  amount  deemed  necessary,  not  to  exceed  50  cents  on 
each  $100  valuation. 

The  aggregate  sums  expended  for  school  purposes,  derived  from  these 
sources  in  this  county  for  year  ending  September  30,  1881,  was,  for  tuition, 
$26,581.20 ;  and  for  special  school  purposes,  $15,097.44 ;  total,  $41,678.64. 
The  sum  for  many  years  has  aggregated  so  nearly  this  amount,  that  a  table 
showing  each  year's  expenditures  for  schools  is  hardly  necessary. 


76  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.       '      . 

The  number  of  teachers  licensed  for  the  year  ending  June  1,  1881,  was 
212  ;  per  cent  for  two  years,  4  ;  for  eighteen  months,  12;  for  twelve  months, 
34  ;  for  six  months,  50. 

The  newspaper  history  of  the  county  commences  with  the  establishment, 
at  Ontario,  of  the  La  Grange  Freeman  in  July,  1842,  with  Samuel  Heming- 
way, Jr.,  as  editor.  In  the  election  of  the  next  year  it  supported  the  Whig 
ticket  and  bore  at  the  head  of  its  editorial  columns  the  names  of  Samuel  Bigger 
for  Governor  and  John  H.  Bradley,  La  Porte,  for  Lieutenant  Governor.  The 
paper  was  a  six  column  folio  and  fairly  printed.  Its  publication  was  continued 
nearly  two  years,  when  it  was  suspended  and  the  material  of  the  office  moved  to 
Lima,  and  the  La  Grange  Whig  started  in  1845,  with  James  S.  Castle  as  editor 
and  publisher.  In  September,  1844,  another  paper  was  started  at  Ontario  by 
James  M.  Flagg,  an  attorney,  called  the  People  s  Advocate.  Early  in  1845, 
this  paper  was  moved  to  Lima  and  the  name  changed  to  the  La  Q-range  Advo- 
cate. This  was  also  a  six  column  folio  and  Whig,  in  politics.  The  few  copies 
of  these  papers  that  have  been  preserved  unto  the  present  are  almost  destitute 
of  local  references,  the  oditorial  labor  seemingly  having  been  directed  to  clip- 
ping from  distant  papers  and  occasional  comments  upon  National  and  State 
matters.  There  is  a  remarkable  contrast,  in  respect  to  "locals,"  between  the 
newspapers  of  that  day  and  the  present.  A  country  paper  now  without  five  to 
ten  columns  of  home  news  every  week  would  hardly  be  looked  at  by  the  people. 
Then  there  was  hardly  as  much  in  as  many  months.  The  La  Grange  Advocate, 
after  a  short  life  at  Lima,  was  merged  into  the  Lima  Whig,  which  continued  an 
active  career  until  1855,  when  it  passed  into  the  hands  of  C.  D.  Y.  Alexander 
and  soon  after  was  discontinued.  The  Whigs,  though,  during  all  this  time, 
were  not  permitted  to  exercise  all  the  newspaper  talent  of  the  county.  In  Oc- 
tober, 1845,  Messrs.  Jewett,  Owen  &  Bennett  started  the  La  Grange  Democrat, 
which  held  up  and  defended  the  Democratic  banner  some  four  or  five  years, 
when  it  was  suspended.  Who  were  the  different  proprietors  during  that  time, 
or  whether  there  were  any  changes,  cannot  now  be  ascertained.  The  town 
of  La  Grange,  the  new  county  seat,  had,  by  this  time,  so  grown  as  to 
aspire  to  newspaper  standing,  and  then,  as  now,  there  was  somebody  ready  to 
fill  such  "felt  wants."  Mr.  G.  D.  StanclifF  was  the  first  man  to  try  the  busi- 
ness in  La  Grange,  by  starting  the  La  Grange  Herald  in  1856.  It  was  but  an 
experiment,  and  ere  the  year  closed  the  Herald  had  expired:  But  the  want  had 
by  no  means  been  gratified,  and  one  morning  in  December,  1856,  the  current 
topic  was  a  new  printing  office  in  town.  John  K.  Morrow,  of  Bryan,  Ohio, 
had  moved  in,  bringing  with  him  a  Washington  hand  press  and  printing  ma- 
terial covered  with  a  chattel  mortgage.    Associating  with  him Rayhouser 

he  at  once  commenced  the  issue  of  the  La  Grange  Standard,  which  has  made 
regular  weekly  visitations  to  the  people  of  the  county  from  that  day  to  this. 
It  was  the  first  Republican  paper  established  in  the  county.  A  number  of 
changes  in  proprietors  and  editors  have  occurred;  but,  with  all  the  changes, 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  77 

the  paper  has  been  gradually  improved  and  advanced  in  circulation  and  pros- 
perity. Rayhouser  held  his  interest  but  a  short  time,  when  he  sold  to  C.  D. 
Y.  Alexander,  of  Lima,  and  he  soon  sold  his  interest  to  Joseph  B.  Wade. 
Morrow  and  Wade  conducted  the  paper  about  a  year,  when  Mr.  Wade  sold  his 
interest  to  John  D.  Devor,  in  the  winter  of  1859, 

In  April,  I860,  Dr.  Charles  0.  Myers  bought  the  entire  office,  and  con- 
ducted the  paper  until  1863,  when  he  sold  out  to  Thomas  S.  Taylor,  who  had, 
a  few  months  previous,  started  a  paper,  the  Lima  Union,  at  Lima.  Mr.  Myers 
taking  the  material  of  the  Union  in  part  pay,  moved  it  to  Kendallville,  and 
started  the  Kendallville  Standard.  Mr.  Taylor  conducted  the  La  Grange 
Standard  until  November  22,  1867,  when  he  sold  the  office  to  Dr.  John  H. 
Rerick,  who  held  it  until  May,  1869,  when  he  sold  it  to  John  D.  Devor.  The 
latter  added  some  $2,500  material  to  the  office,  consisting  of  a  new  Washington 
hand  press,  two  job  presses,  a  large  quantity  of  type,  and  other  material.  On 
the  iSth  of  July,  1872,  the  office  was  again  bought  by  Dr.  J.  H.  Rerick,  and 
is  still  owned  and  conducted  by  him.  In  October,  1874,  he  added  a  power 
Taylor  press  (the  first  power  press  ever  brought  into  the  county),  steam-power, 
mailing  machine  and  considerable  other  material. 

In  1859,  J.  S.  Castle  started  a  Democratic  paper  at  La  Grange,  called  the 
La  Grange  Democrat,  which  he  published  about  a  year  at  La  Grange,  when  he 
moved  the  office  to  Lima  and  continued  the  publication  there  until  some  time 
in  1862,  when  it  was  discontinued  entirely.  In  1868,  through  the  joint  opera- 
tion of  a  number  of  Democrats  in  the  different  parts  of  the  county,  an  entirely 
new  office  was  bought  and  a  new  Democrat  started,  with  Francis  Henry  and 
Howard  M.  Coe  as  editors  and  publishers.  This  paper  took  an  active  part  in 
the  campaign  of  1868.  In  April,  1869,  the  office  was  consumed  with  the 
block  of  business  buildings  then  destroyed  by  the  most  disastrous  fire  that  has 
yet  occurred  in  the  town.  A  number  of  Democrats  renewed  their  stock,  and 
new  press  and  new  material  were  again  purchased  and  the  Democrat  re-issued. 
Mr.  Henry  soon  retired  from  the  paper,  when  its  publication  was  continued  by 
Mr.  Coe  until  some  time  in  1870,  when  he  abandoned  the  office  and  it  was 
closed  up.  The  material  of  the  office  was  purchased  in  1871  by  Hiram  A. 
Sweet,  and  a  new  paper  was  started,  entitled  the  La  Grange  Independent.  Mr. 
A.  Bayliss  bought  an  interest  in  the  paper  in  1872,  and  conducted  the  edito- 
rial department  about  a  year,  when  he  sold  his  interest  back  to  Mr.  Sweet. 
Mr.  Sweet  continued  its  publication  until  the  spring  of  1874,  when  he  discon- 
tinued it  and  moved  the  office  to  Sturgis,  Mich.  In  the  spring  of  1874,  A.  H. 
Wait,  of  Sturgis,  Mich.,  started  the  Register  at  Wolcottville,  which  he  sold  a 
few  months  after  to  his  publisher,  James  R.  Rheubottom.  In  December,  1875, 
S.  D.  Crane,  of  La  Grange,  bought  an  interest  in  the  office,  and  in  March? 
1876,  bought  the  remaining  interest  held  by  Mr.  Rheubottom,  and  moved  the 
office  to  La  Grange,  changing  the  name  of  the  paper  to  the  La  Grange  Register^ 
the  first  copy  of  the  latter  being  issued  in  April,  1876.     In  June,  of  the  same 


78  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

year,  J.  C.  Hewitt  bought  an  interest  in  the  oflSce,  and  in  December  succeeding 
bought  the  entire  office,  and  has  conducted  it  since.  In  August,  1881,  he 
put  in  a  power  Campbell  press,  the  second  power  press  introduced  in  the 
county. 

James  R.  Rheubottom  started  a  new  paper  in  Rome  City,  Noble  County, 
in  the  spring  of  1876,  which  he  moved  to  Wolcottville  in  June,  the  same  year, 
and  issued  it  under  the  title  of  the  Wolcottville  Gazette,  conducting  it  until 
November,  1878,  when  he  sold  the  office  to  I.  W.  Lohman,  who  shortly  after 
moved  it  to  Rome  City  again,  when  it  was,  in  the  course  of  a  year,  discontin- 
ued entirely,  and  the  material  shipped  to  Indianapolis. 

November  13,  1879,  a  new  La  Grange  Democrat  was  started  at  La  Grange, 
by  J.  Frank  Snyder,  and  is  still  being  issued.  Several  different  persons  have 
been  associated  with  Mr.  Snyder  in  the  publication  of  the  paper. 

At  present  writing  (October,  1881),  there  are  three  papers  published  in 
the  county,  all  at  La  Grange ;  the  Standard,  a  seven-column  quarto.  Republican 
in  politics;  the  Register,  a.  s\x-co\nmn  quarto,  independent ;  Sind  the  Democrat, 
a  five-column  quarto;  all  published  on  the  "co-operative  plan." 

In  the  line  of  book  authorship,  there  have  been,  so  far  as  we  can  learn, 
but  two  residents  of  the  county  who  have  ventured  into  this  field.  Hon.  John 
B.  Howe,  of  Lima,  who  has  devoted  the  late  years  of  his  life  largely  to  the 
study  of  financial  problems,  has  written  and  had  published  four  books  on  the 
subject  under  the  following  titles  :. 

1st.  "The  Political  Economy  of  Great  Britain,  the  United  States  and 
France,  in  the  Use  of  Money.     A  new  science  of  production  and  exchange." 

2d.     "  Monetary  and  Industrial  Fallacies.     A  dialogue." 

3d.     "  Mono-metalism  and  Bi-metalism." 

4th.  "The  Common  Sense.  The  Mathematics  and  the  Metaphysics  of 
Money." 

The  chief  proposition,  and  to  which  others  maintained  are  subordinate, 
in  these  four  books  is,  that  the  present  theory  of  money  is  founded,  like  the 
ptolemaic  theory  for  the  universe,  on  illusory  and  not  real  facts,  and  that  there 
can  be  no  sound  monetary,  and  hence  no  sound  social,  science,  so  far  as 
political  economy  is  concerned,  until  monetary  science  is  founded  on  actual 
facts.  He  claims,  in  these  books,  to  have  demonstrated  the  falsity  of  the 
science  of  money  as  now  taught,  and  the  truth  of  his  own  science. 

Dr.  J.  H.  Rerick  wrote,  and  had  published,  in  1880,  a  book  of  nearly 
three  hundred  pages,  illustrated  with  maps  and  portraits,  entitled,  "The  Forty- 
fourth  Indiana  Volunteer  Infantry.  History  of  its  services  in  the  war  of  the 
rebellion,  and  a  personal  record  of  its  members." 

The  politics  of  the  county,  when  the  contest  was  between  Whigs  and 
Democrats,  was  nearly  equally  divided.  In  five  Presidential  contests,  the 
Whigs  won  in  two,  1840  and  1844 ;  the  Democrats  in  two,  1836  and  1848. 
In  1852,  the  two  parties  were  a  tie.     The  Abolitionists  cast  38  votes  in  1844, 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  79 

114  in  1848,  and,  in  1852,  under  the  name  of  '-Free-Soil,"  117  votes.  The 
repeal  of  the  Missouri  compromise,  the  attempted  extension  of  slavery  into  Kan- 
sas and  Nebraska,  aroused  much  indignation  and  warm  political  controversies 
in  the  county.  The  result  was  a  general  disorganization  of  the  two  old  parties, 
and  a  sharp  issue  on  the  anti-Nebraska  question  in  1854,  resulting  in  the  elec- 
tion of  the  entire  anti-Nebraska  ticket,  by  majorities  ranging  from  125  to  500. 
The  organization  of  the  Republican  party,  combining  all  the  opponents  of 
slavery  extension  soon  following,  the  political  lines  were  drawn  on  that  line  in 
this  county,  and  until  the  appearance  of  the  National  or  Greenback  party,  there 
were  but  the  two  party  organizations  in  the  county,  the  Republican  and  Dem- 
ocratic. At  every  election  since,  the  Republican  party  has  elected  every  county 
candidate  put  in  nomination  by  its  county  convention,  by  handsome  majorities. 
There  is  not,  probably,  another  county  where  either  party,  so  largely  ascendent 
in  a  county,  has  maintained  such  a  solid  and  unbroken  front  for  twenty-seven 
years.  The  Republican  majorities  at  the  Presidential  elections  have  ranged 
from  7l50  to  1,033.  The  National  or  Greenback  party  was  organized  in  the 
county  in  1876,  and  in  that  year  cast  68  votes  for  its  Presidential' candidate, 
and  at  the  State  election  of  1878  attained  its  maximum,  casting  some  500 
votes.  As  soon  as  the  country  began  to  recover  from  the  financial  crisis 
of  1873,  that  party  began  to  decline,  and,  at  the  Presidential  election  of  1880, 
cast  only  116  votes.  '  Now  it  has  entirely  disappeared  as  an  organization.  In 
the  statistical  table  elsewhere  will  be  found  the  Presidential  vote  at  every  elec- 
tion since  the  organization  of  the  county. 

The  people  of  La  Grange  County,  from  its  earliest  settlement,  have,  in  the 
main,  been  a  very  temperate  people.  Total  prohibition  of  the  use  of  strong 
drinks  as  a  beverage  has  had  at  all  times  strong  advocates.  So  strong  has  this 
sentiment  been  that  for  many  years,  as  long  as  the  issue  of  license  to  retail  was 
left  to  discretion  of  the  County  Commissioners,  no  licenses  were  issued  at  all. 
The  organized  temperance  work  has  been  mainly  done  through  the  Sons  of 
Temperance,  the  Good  Templar  Order,  the  red  ribbon  and  blue  ribbon  move- 
ments. The  Hutchinson  Lodge  of  Good  Templars,  organized  in  La  Grange  in 
July,  1866,  has  met  regularly  every  week  since,  and  been  the  center  of  an 
active  and  beneficent  temperance  influence.  Another  lodge  of  the  same  order, 
entitled  the  Davis  Lodge,  was  organized,  and  is  yet  doing  good  work  in  the 
cause  of  temperance  and  social  culture. 

A  number  of  other  secret  societies  of  social  character  have  been  organized, 
and  been  more  or  less  influential,  socially,  in  the  community.  A  Lodge  of  the 
Independent  Order  of  Odd  Fellows  was  organized  at  Lima  in  1 848,  and  at- 
tained a  membership  as  high  as  forty-three,  consisting  mainly  of  the  active 
business  young  men.  Hon.  Schuyler  Colfax  gave  a  public  lecture  under  the 
auspices  of  the  Lodge  at  the  M.  E.  Church  in  1849.  The  California  emigra- 
tion drew  so  largely  on  its  membership  and  so  weakened  it,  that  the  Lodge  sur- 
rendered its  charter  in  1854.     About  the  same    time  the  Odd  Fellows'  Lodge 


80  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

was  organized,  a  Lodge  of  Free  and  Accepted  Masons  was  also  organized  at 
Lima.  A  charter  for  the  organization  of  the  Meridian  Sun  Lodge  No.  7, 
Free  and  Accepted  Masons,  was  granted  June  1,  1849,  with  William  Martin, 
Worshipful  Master ;  F.  Flanders,  Senior  Warden  ;  William  Berg,  Junior  War- 
den ;  John  Kromer,  Secretary ;  John  Briscoe,  Treasurer.  Since  its  organiza- 
tion, 425  members  have  been  enrolled.  The  present  officers  are  :  B.  F.  Lutz, 
Worshipful  Master  ;  M.  V.  Stroup,  Senior  Warden;  J.  H.  Caton,  Junior  War- 
den ;  A.  F.  Skeer,  Treasurer ;  and  J.  H.  Lutz,  Secretary. 

The  Star  in  the  West  Lodge,  I.  0.  0.  F.,  at  La  Grange,  was  organized  in 
June,  1855,  has  had  a  membership  of  150,  and  is  still  in  active  working  order. 
At  Wolcottville,  there  are  two  Lodges.  Aldine  Lodge  I.  0.  0.  F.  organized 
April  19,  1875,  with  a  membership  now  of  twenty-six,  and  Ionic  Lodge  F.  A. 
M.,  organized  May  28,  1868,  with  a  present  membership  of  forty-seven. 

The  Grange  movement,  in  1873,  found  a  number  of  active  and  influential 
adherents  in  this  county.  Some  eleven  Granges  of  the  Patrons  of  Industry 
were  organized,  and  all,  we  believe,  by  William  Collett.  The  strongest 
Granges  were  formed  in  Clearspring  Township,  where  one  or  two  still  exist ; 
all  the  others,  though,  have  been  discontinued. 

In  the  month  of  February,  1878,  a  movement  was  made  in  La  Grange 
County,  to  organize  a  Home  Insurance  Company  on  the  mutual  plan.  The 
first  meeting  of  those  interested  was  held  on  the  2d  of  March  of  the  same  year, 
at  which  time  the  following  men  became  charter  members  :  Samuel  P.  Brad- 
ford, H.  H.  Bassler,  John  Dalton,  James  Miller,  B.  W.  Vesey,  Philip  Sprewer, 
Joseph  Steininger,  Alanson  Blackmun,  Mrs.  Zedina  Buck,  Wrench  Winters, 
William  Crampton,  Robert  Kellett,  Mrs.  M.  Kellet,  D.  N.  Stough,  James 
Smith,  Levi  Putt,  George  W.  Storms,  William  Gardner,  Henry  Weiss,  Z.  L. 
Scidmore,  Israel  Spangler,  Peter  Alspaugh,  Levi  Eshleman,  A.  J.  Royer,  John 
Bellairs,  William  Woodward,  William  S.  Olney,  Peter  Moak,  George  Preston, 
John  McDonald  and  Elias  Wight.  These  men  took  out  policies,  and  sub- 
scribed stock  to  the  amount  of  $57,615.  The  company,  from  that  time  to  this, 
has  grown  very  rapidly  until  the  membership  now  numbers  about  500.  On  the 
11th  of  February,  1879,  the  stock  amounted  to  $277,390  ;  February  10, 1880, 
to  $431,846  ;  June  6,  1881,  to  $645,455  ;  and  .January  11,  1882,  to  $751,751. 
But  four  assessments  have  been  made  upon  the  members  to  make  good  losses,  as 
follows:  January,  1879,  a  tax  of  eleven  and  one-half  mills  on  the  dollar;  De- 
cember, 1879,  a  tax  of  eight  mills ;  April,  1880,  a  tax  of  twenty-two  mills ; 
and  June,  1881,  a  tax  of  fifteen  mills.  The  total  losses  paid  to  the  present 
writing  (January  7, 1882),  are  as  follows  :  During  the  first  year,  $110  ;  sec- 
ond year,  $250 ;  third  year,  $968  ;  fourth  year,  $851.98.  Total  losses  paid, 
$2,179.98.  The  total  per  cent  of  taxation  to  meet  losses  during  the  four  years 
is  but  fifty-six  and  one-half.  Every  loss  has  been  promptly  paid,  and  the  com- 
pany presents  a  fine  financial  showing.  The  losses  have  been  mostly  by  light- 
ning, whereby  various   flocks  of  sheep,  meat  in  smoke  houses,  and    buildings 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  81 

suffered.     The  first   officers  were :     Amasa  Bunnell,   President ;    Samuel   P. 
Bradford,  Secretary ;  and  H.  H.  Bassler,  Treasurer. 

With  the  honest  and  enterprising  pioneers  of  La  Grange  and  Noble  Coun- 
ties, came  some  ingenious  and  active  villains,  who  at  once  commenced  to  avail 
themselves  of  all  the  advantages  a  sparsely- settled  country,  with  its  hidden 
recesses  in  woods  and  swamp,  always  furnishes  the  criminal  classes  for  carrying 
on  the  general  villainy  of  stealing,  robbing  and  counterfeiting.  These  men 
soon  collected  around  them  others  of  like  propensities,  and  secretly  seduced 
many  young  men  into  the  ways  of  pollution  and  on  to  crime.  The  Indians 
frequently  complained  of  the  theft  of  their  ponies,  and  the  early  settlers  of  their 
horses,  and,  later  on,  house-breaking,  house-burning,  robbery,  and  the  passage 
of  counterfeit  money,  became  annoyances  of  frequent  occurrence,  not  only  in 
these  counties,  but  in  all  Northern  Indiana  and  Southern  Michigan.  The  sys- 
tematic action  displayed  in  these  lawless  depredations  indicated  so  strongly  a 
conspiracy  that  the  belief  became  general  that  there  was  a  well-organized  band 
of  villains,  within  or  very  near  the  borders  of  these  counties.  As  early  as 
1841  or  1842,  the  people  realized  that  the  ordinary  processes  of  law  were 
unequal  to  the  task  of  suppressing  the  lawlessness,  and  a  public  meeting  was 
held  at  Kendallville  for  the  purpose  of  organizing  a  society  for  the  mutual 
protection  of  honest  citizens,  and  to  raise  funds  to  aid  in  the  execution  of  the 
law.  The  results  of  this  meeting  may  be  learned  in  the  Noble  County  history. 
The  criminals  increased  in  numbers  and  audacity.  The  Legislature  was  finally 
appealed  to,  and,  in  1852,  an  act  was  passed  authorizing  the  formation  of  com- 
panies for  the  detection  and  apprehension  of  horse  thieves  and  other  felons. 
•The  companies  were  to  consist  of  not  less  than  ten  nor  more  than  one  hundred, 
who  were  to  sign  articles  of  association,  giving  name  of  company,  the  name  and 
residence  of  each  member,  which  organization  was  to  be  approved  by  the  County 
Commissioners,  and  put  on  record.  The  companies  were  authorized  to  call  to 
their  aid  the  peace  officers  of  the  State,  in  accordance  with  law,  in  the  pursuit 
and  apprehension  of  felons,  and  reclaiming  stolen  property,  and  each  member 
was  given  the  powers  and  privileges  of  constables,  when  engaged  in  arresting 
criminals.  Although  this  law  gave  such  ample  authority  for  organized  eifort 
for  the  protection  of  society,  the  depredations  of  thieves  and  counterfeiters  were 
endured  until  September  20,  1856,  when  the  first  company  was  organized  in  Mil- 
ford  Township,  assuming  the  name  of  the  La  Grange  County  Rangers.  No 
person  was  allowed  to  become  a  member  whose  name  was  tainted  with  dishon- 
orable associations,  and  who  would  not  take  a  solemn  oath  of  secrecy.  The 
meetings  were  strictly  private,  and  all  plans  for  operation  held  in  profound 
secrecy  until  contemplated  arrests  were  made.  This  society  was  in  existence 
more  than  a  year  before  any  others  were  formed  ;  then  followed  the  organization 
of  the  La  Grange  Protective  Association,  La  Grange  Association  of  Clear- 
spring,  Self-Protectors  of  South  Milford,  Self-Protectors  of  Springfield,  and 
Eden  Police.    On  January  9,  1858,  a  meeting  called  by  the  regulator  companies 


82  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

was  held  at  Wright's  Corners,  which  passed  a  series  of  resolutions  which,  after 
being  signed  by  130  citizens,  was  ordered  to  be  published  in  the  La  Grange 
Standard.  These  resolutions  alleged  that  La  Grange  and  Noble  Counties 
were  infested  with  blacklegs,  burglars  and  petty  thieves,  to  such  a  degree  that 
the  property  of  the  citizens  was  very  insecure,  and  charged  that  the  tavern  then 
kept  "  by  B.  F.  Wilson,  at  Wright's  Corners,  was  believed  to  be  a  rendezvous  for 
these  infernal  banditti,"  and  that  he  was  an  accomplice  of  the  villains.  The 
resolutions  pledged  each  signer  to  use  the  utmost  exertion  to  bring  the  offenders 
to  justice,  "  by  assisting  to  take  them  wherever  they  may  be  found,  and  that, 
when  taken,  we  will  deal  with  them  in  such  a  manner  as  to  us  may  seem  just 
and  efficient."  Wilson  was  also  warned  that  in  case  any  depredations  were  com- 
mitted by  persons  he  harbored,  he  would  be  dealt  with  as  a  real  depredator. 
This  meeting  was  but  the  mutterings  of  the  coming  storm  of  indignation  against 
tlie  rascally  element  that  had  so  long  tormented  the  people.  The  next  week, 
January  16,  1858,  at  an  Old  Settlers'  meeting  in  Kendallville,  the  regulator 
companies  of  Noble  and  La  Grange  Counties  appeared  in  parade,  marching  in 
double  file  through  the  most  prominent  streets  of  the  town.  The  depredators, 
tnany  of  whom  witnessed  the  scene,  were  alarmed,  but  were  given  no  time  to 
get  away,  for  the  next  day  the  arrests  began.  Nine  of  the  ringleaders  were 
arrested  at  Rome  City,  and  taken  to  Ligonier,  where  they  confessed  (a  very 
fashionable  performance  about  that  time),  and  were  then  either  tried  by  the 
committee,  or  turned  over  to  the  constituted  authorities,  to  be  legally  dealt 
with.  The  proceedings  in  that  vicinity,  and  the  hanging  of  Gregory  McDonald, 
is  related  in  the  Noble  County  record  elsewhere  in  this  volume.  A  number  of 
arrests  followed  in  this  county,  the  people  were  much  agitated,  the  old  jail  was 
crowded  to  its  utmost  with  prisoners,  and  the  courts  overrun  with  business.  At 
one  term  of  the  court,  seven  men  were  sentenced  to  the  penitentiary.  Several 
men  who  were  tried  in  the  Common  Pleas  Court  were  released  by  the  Supreme 
Court  on  the  ground  that  their  crime  was  triable  in  the  Circuit  Court  only. 
With  the  exception  of  these,  the  convicted  paid  the  assigned  penalty  of  their 
crimes,  and  the  whole  gang  was  most  effectually  broken  up.  Since  then  the 
misdeeds  in  the  community  have  been  almost  entirely  left  to  the  control  of  the 
regular  judicial  officers,  though  several  regulator  organizations  still  exist,  and 
occasionally  lend  a  helping  hand  in  the  arrest  of  criminals. 


CHAP  TE  R    IV. 

by  j.  h.  reeiok,  m.  d. 

Names  of  Soldiers  who  Served  in  Wars  Prior  to  1861— Public  Sentiment 
WHEN  Sumter  Fell— The  Call  to  Arms  —  Collection  of  Sanitary 
Stores  —  Volunteers  and  Recruits— The  Draft  Terror  —  Soldiers' 
Aid  Societies  —  La  Grange  County's  Roll  of  Honor  —  Battles  Partic- 
ipated In— Disloyalty— Enthusiastic  Union  Meetings  —  Anecdotes. 

"  I  will  teach  thine  infant  tongue 
To  call  upon  those  heroes  old 
In  their  own  language,  and  will  mold 

Thy  growing  spirit  in  the  flame  , 

Of  Grecian  lore :     That  by  each  name 
A  patriot's  birthright  thou  mayest  claim." 

—  Shelley. 

FOR  thirty  prosperous  years  La  Grange  County  developed  in  population  and 
resources  without  knowing  the  spirit  of  war.  Children  were  born  and 
grew  to  manhood  without  ever  seeing  a  soldier  in  military  dress.  Mothers  and 
maidens  had  never  felt  the  anguish  of  separation  from  husljand  or  lover  at  the 
stern  call  of  a  nation  at  war.  Perhaps  not  half  a  score  of  men  in  the  county 
at  the  opening  of  the  rebellion  had  any  knowledge,  except  through  tradition 
and  reading,  of  the  forced  march,  scanty  rations,  the  exposed  bivouac,  guard 
and  picket  duty,  toilsome  work  on  breastworks,  rifle-pits  and  forts,  the  marshal- 
ing of  the  armed  hosts  for  "  battle's  magnificently  stern  array,"  the  fury  of 
the  storm  of  shot  and  shell,  the  falling  dead  and  mangled  human  forms,  the 
rejoicing  of  victory  and  the  despair  of  defeat,  the  heart-sickening  scenes  in 
hospital,  the  anxious  waiting  at  home  for  news  of  the  great  battles  which  is  to 
be  to  them  a  sorrowful  joy  or  dead  despair — of  all  the  painful,  terrible,  magnifi- 
cent things  which  go  to  make  up  war. 

For  a  number  of  years  after  the  first  settlement,  a  few  old  soldiers  of  the 
Revolution,  who  lived  in  the  county,  were  honored  on  Independence  Day,  put 
on  the  platforms  and  cheered  for  their  services,  but  all  these  had  long  since 
passed  away,  and  were  slumbering  among  the  dead  in  peace.  There  were, 
besides,  a  few  survivors  of  that  later  and  less  heroic  war  of  1812,  who  could  tell 
some  stories  of  old-time  bravery,  but  these  were  very  few.  The  Mexican  war  had 
drawn  a  few  soldiers  from  the  county,  and  some  of  its  heroes  had  come  into 
the  county  after  the  war.  But,  as  we  said  before,  all  counted,  not  more  than 
ten  had  "smelled  gunpowder."  Indeed,  when  the  first  squad  of  volunteers 
assembled  in  1861,  there  was  but  one  man  in  the  community  with  sufiicient 
military  knowledge  to  give  commands  for  the  simplest  maneuvers.     This  soldier 


84  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

was  William  B.  Bingham,  who  had  served  in  the  ranks  of  an  Ohio  regiment  in 
the  Mexican  war. 

So  it  can  be  seen  what  a  new  and  before  unfelt  thrill  went  through  the 
hearts  of  the  people  of  the  county  when,  in  April,  1861,  the  flag  of  the  nation 
was  insulted  and  outraged  at  Fort  Sumter.  A  common  glow  of  patriotism 
fired  every  bosom.  Every  man,  woman  and  child,  possessing  a  spark  of 
heroism,  was  raised  from  a  devotion  to  little  things  into  a  higher  life  of  conse- 
cration to  an  idea — the  preservation  of  the  nation — a  tumult  of  emotions,  before 
unfelt  and  undreamed  of.  Indignation  at  the  insult  to  that  flag,  which  then 
for  the  first  time,  began  to  have  a  significance ;  apprehensions  of  the  perils  to 
happy  homes ;  duty's  call  to  the  front ;  the  restraining  thought  of  death  and 
sorrow — all  these  swarmed  in  the  minds  of  the  men.  The  hearts  of  mothers 
and  wives  sank,  at  first,  in  anguish  at  the  sight  of  the  portentous  cloud  coming 
over  the  sky,  but  soon  rose  with  a  sublime  patriotism  which  taught  them  that 
no  sacrifice  was  too  costly  for  the  altar  of  our  country. 

t3n  the  15th  of  April,  1861,  President  Lincoln  called  for  75,000  militia, 
and  on  the  next  day  Gov.  Morton  issued  his  proclamation  for  the  organiza- 
tion of  six  regiments,  the  quota  of  Indiana.  The  first  paper  published  in 
La  Grange  after  this,  contained  a  call  for  a  public  meeting  at  the  court  house, 
"  to  which  all  Union-loving  citizens,  irrespective  of  party  affiliation  in  the  past," 
were  invited  to  take  action  for  the  "  organization  of  a  military  company,  and 
for  aiding  and  assisting  the  families  of  those  who  may  volunteer."  At  the 
meeting,  the  court  house  was  filled  to  its  utmost  capacity.  John  Kromer,  an 
old  citizen,  and  a  soldier  of  1812,  presided.  Nathan  P.  Osborne  and  Samuel 
Sprague  acted  as  Vice  Presidents,  and  C.  0.  Myers  and  A.  B.  Kennedy  as 
Secretaries.  The  Committee  on  Resolutions  were  A.  S.  Case,  Harley  Crocker, 
Dr.  F.  P.  Griffith,  Dr.  J.  H.  Rerick,  Thomas  J.  Skeer  and  Alexander  B. 
Kennedy.  The  resolutions  reported  were  unanimously  adopted,  and  were  as 
follows : 

Whereas,  We  deplore  the  circumstances  which  have  inaugurated  civil  war  and  brought 
the  people  of  a  portion  of  the  South  in  conflict  with  the  General  Government  of  the  United  States  ; 
therefore, 

Resolved,  That  it  is  the  duty  of  all  patriotic  citizens,  irrespective  of  party  names  and  dis- 
tinctions, ignoring,  for  the  present,  all  past  dissensions  and  party  bitterness,  to  unite  as  one 
people,  in  support  of  the  Government  of  the  United  States. 

Resolved,  That  we  are  unalterably  attached  to  the  government  of  the  United  States,  and 
will  yield  to  it  an  ardent  and  firm  support  against  all  its  enemies  ;  pledging  to  each  other  our 
lives,  our  fortunes  and  our  sacred  honor. 

James  M.  Flagg  and  Hon.  Robert  Parrett  made  patriotic  speeches.  Mr. 
Flagg  recalled  the  words  of  Jeff'erson,  that  about  once  in  thirty  years  the  tree 
of  liberty  must  be  watered  with  human  blood.  The  time  for  such  a  sacrifice, 
he  said,  was  at  hand.  Acts,  not  words,  are  now  necessary.  Mr.  Parrett  elo- 
quently and  feelingly  argued  that  it  was  a  time  when  all  former  issues  should 
be  laid  aside — the  only  questions  now  being,  union  or  disunion.     Mr.  Andrew 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  85 

Ellison  was  called  upon,  who,  speaking  in  a  candid  manner,  said  his  sentiments 
were  not  wholly  in  accord  with  the  previous  speakers,  but  that  he  was  a  citizen 
of  the  Republic,  and  acknowledged  his  allegiance  to  it,  and  proposed  to  stand 
by  its  laws  under  all  circumstances  and  contingencies.  William  S.  Boyd  thought 
there  had  been  talking  enough,  and  proposed  that  steps  be  at  once  taken  for 
the  organization  of  a  company,  whereupon  John  H.  Rerick  drew  from  his 
pocket  an  enlistment  paper  already  prepared,  which  was  read,  approved, 
and  enlistment  at  once  commenced.  William  Cummings,  William  Selby  and 
John  Kromer  were  appointed  a  committee  for  soliciting  contributions  for  the 
families  of  those  who  should  enlist. 

This  was  the  first  war  meeting  ever  held  in  the  county.  Others  quickly 
followed — one  at  Lima  on  the  23d,  addressed  by  Hon.  J.  B.  Howe,  Revs.  Far- 
rand  and  Cory,  and  another  at  Wolcottville  on  the  same  day,  presided  over  by 
A.  J.  Atwood,  with  L.  L.  Wildman,  as  Secretary,  and  Dr.  Martin,  0.  B.  Tay- 
lor and  Henry  Youngs  as  committee  on  resolutions.  These  demanded  a  prompt 
and  vigorous  execution  of  the  Federal  laws,  the  retaking  of  the  forts,  arsenals 
and  other  public  property  seized  by  the  rebels,  and  that  the  insult  to  the  United 
States  by  the  so-called  Confederacy  in  attacking  Fort  Sumter  was  one  that 
should  be  redressed,  if  it  was  necessary  to  use  the  entire  military  strength  of 
the  American  people.  At  these  meetings,  volunteers  were  added  to  the  list  and 
contributions  made  for  their  families.  On  May  1,  a  meeting  was  held  at  South 
Milford,  presided  over  by  John  Bartlett.  with  R.  Smith  as  Secretary.  It  was 
addressed  by  Francis  Henry  and  George  Rowe.  The  committee  on  resolutions 
were  Francis  Henry,  E.  Stockwell,  Dr.  J.  Dancer,  L.  Blackmun  and  George 
Bartlett.  The  resolutions  reported  and  adopted  differed  slightly  in  tone  from 
those  adopted  at  the  other  meetings,  and  we  present  them  here,  in  order  that 
the  different  shades  of  feeling  at  the  time  may  be  represented : 

Resolved,  That  we  will  sustain  the  Constitution  of  the  United  States  of  America,  and 
uphold  the  authorities  thereof  in  sustaining  the  laws  and  protecting  the  flag  of  our  country 
from  our  enemies,  both  North  and  South. 

Resolved,  That  we  have  no  sympathy  with  the  Secessionists  of  the  South,  nor  the  Aboli- 
tionists of  the  North,  and  that  we  hold  them  responsible  for  the  present  distracted  condition  of 
the  country. 

Resolved,  That  we  recommend  every  good  citizen  to  consider  calmly  and  dispassionately 
our  present  condition,  and  that  we  will  hail  with  joy  an  early  and  honorable  peace,  and  if 
peace  cannot  be  brought  about,  that  we  prosecute  the  war  with  the  utmost  vigor  to  a  final  end. 

A  committee  was  appointed  to  devise  the  best  method  of  organizing  a 
military  company  and  reported,  recommending  that  the  Secretary  open  his 
books  for  immediate  enrollment,  which  was  done,  and  some  names  were  entered. 
On  May  4,  another  meeting  was  held  at  La  Grange,  "  for  the  purpose  of  hold- 
ing a  council  of  war,"  as  the  chronicler  of  that  day  put  it.  The  crowd  gath- 
ered in  the  court-yard  and  was  addressed  by  J.  B.  Wade,  A.  Ellison  and  Roman 
Mills.  On  Mr.  Wade's  suggestion,  the  meeting  voted  that  the  county  should 
pay  the  expenses  of  the  volunteers  while  at  home.     Roman  Mills  said  he  had 


86  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

two  sons  already  in  the  company  and  two  more  to  spare,  and  would  go  himself 
if  necessary.  The  company  which  had  been  drilling  under  Maj.  Bingham 
made  an  exhibition  of  their  skill ;  there  was  martial  music,  firing  of  cannon, 
the  "Marseillaise,"  and  "Red,  White  and  Blue."  Thus  the  attention  of  the 
people  was  directed  to  the  enlistment.  The  paper  was  kept  by  Dr.  J.  H. 
Rerick  at  Betts  &  Rerick's  drug  store,  and  as  fast  as  men  made  up  their  minds 
to  enlist,  and  could  arrange  their  business,  they  came  in,  signed  this  paper, 
and  went  into  the  ranks  for  drill.  About  the  1st  of  May,  William  Roy,  a 
young  man  who  had  just  finished  a  five  years'  service  in  the  regular  army, 
came  to  La  Grange  to  visit  his  relatives,  and  being  fresh  in  military  tactics  and 
discipline,  at  once  became  the  most  important  personage  in  the  community. 
As  soon  as  the  volunteers  heard  of  his  presence  in  town,  he  was  sent  for  and 
requested  to  give  the  boys  a  touch  of  the  "  regular's  "  drill.  With  form  erect 
and  the  quick,  firm  step  of  the  trained  soldier,  he  was  soon  at  their  front,  and, 
at  the  first  command  of  "front  face,"  the  humble  regular  private,  William 
Roy,  was  transferred  into  a  Captain  of  volunteers.  Spectators  and  volunteers 
were  alike  elated,  but  hardly  any  more  so  than  the  drill-master,  Mr.  Bingham, 
who  immediately  tendered  his  cane,  then  the  only  instrument  of  authority,  and 
turned  the  command  over  to  the  new-comer. 

The  organization  of  the  company  was  completed  in  a  few  days,  and  in- 
formation of  the  fact  forwarded  to  the  authorities  at  Indianapolis.  When  pub- 
lic indignation  for  rebels  ran  so  high  as  it  did  then,  and  a  furious  and  speedy 
overthrow  was  anticipated,  it  was  not  strange  that  the  most  terrific  names 
should  be  suggested  for  company  titles.  In  obedience  to  this  prevalent  feeling, 
our  first  military  organization  assumed  the  belligerent  cognomen  of  the  "  La 
Grange  Tigers."  A  less  ferocious  title  would  have  given  satisfaction  a  few 
months  after,  without  any  discredit  to  true  courage  and  patriotism.  "  Home 
Guards,"  subsequently,  under  the  influence  of  the  declaration  of  a  great  party 
that  the  war  was  a  failure,  was  equally  significent  of  public  opinion.  The  first 
enlistment  paper,  referred  to  above,  is  still  carefully  preserved.  All  who 
signed,  did  not  at  that  time  enter  the  service,  but  nearly  all  did  within  a  few 
months.  The  following  is  a  copy  of  the  obligation  to  which  the  volunteers, 
one  hundred  and  two  in  number,  put  their  signatures  : 

La  Grange,  Ind.,  April  1,  1861. 

The  undersigned  hereby  agree  to  organize  themselves  into  a  Volunteer  Military  Company, 
in  accordance  with  the  statutes  of  the  State  of  Indiana,  and  to  be  at  the  service  and  command 
of  the  Governor  thereof,  whenever  in  his  opinion  the  exigencies  of  the  country  demand,  for  the 
term  of  three  mouths  from  date  of  reception  for  duty.  They  also  agree,  when  the  requisite 
number  (84)  of  signatures  for  a  company  have  been  obtained,  to  meet,  elect  their  officers,  and 
report  for  service. 

All  this  enlistment  and  preparation  for  the  field  had  been  done  without 
any  definite  arrangement  or  order  from  the  State  authorities.  The  Governor 
had  called  for  volunteers  to  fill  the  State  quota,  but  there  was  no  assurance  that 
the   "  Tigers "  would    be    needed    to  make   up   the   requisite   number.    Not 


j'-w  -mt 


WOLCOTTVILL 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  89 

until  the  14th  of  May  did  the  company  receive  any  orders,  and  then  only  in 
an  indirect  way  ;  but  the  boys  were  eager  to  go  into  service,  and  the  intimation 
that  they  were  needed  was  accepted  as  sufi&cient.  The  company  was  en  route 
in  an  hour  or  two  for  Sturgis,  where  cars  were  expected  to  convey  them  to 
Indianapolis.  Many  citizens  accompanied  them — seeing  them  off — and  they 
were  met  by  a  Sturgis  company  and  escorted  to  town.  The  officers  chosen  by 
the  men,  in  this  first  military  company,  were  :  Captain,  William  Roy ;  First 
Lieutenant,  George  A.  Lane ;  Second  Lieutenant,  C.  M.  Burlingame  ;  Third 
Lieutenant,  F.  A.  Spellman  ;  First  Sergeant,  J.  A.  Lamson  ;  Second  Sergeant, 
J.  A.  Bevington  ;  Third  Sergeant,  Thomas  Burnell ;  Fourth  Sergeant,  David 
Dudley  ;  First  Corporal,  John  F.  Varner ;  Second  Corporal,  James  Rheu- 
bottom  ;  Third  Corporal,  J.  A.  Hoagland  ;  Ensign,  Andrew  J.  Fair. 

Upon  reaching  Indianapolis,  the  company  found  companies  and  regiments 
organized  in  sufficient  number  to  fill  Indiana's  quota,  and  the  illusive  prospect 
of  a  ninety  days'  war  then  prevailing,  no  more  companies  would  be  received. 
The  men  were  informed  that  they  could  disband  and  go  into  other  companies 
if  they  could  find  room,  or  otherwise  return  home.  About  thirty  joined  other 
companies,  and  the  rest,  disheartened,  came  back.  Twenty-one  of  those  who 
entered  the  service  joined  Company  B,  Seventeenth  Indiana  Infantry,  and  all, 
with  one  exception,  were  credited  to  Boone  County.  The  names  of  these  men 
were  John  C.  Lamson,  Joseph  S.  Case,  Harrison  Boyd,  Alfred  Ci^awford, 
William  Christ,  Joel  Crosby,  William  H.  Crosby,  Daniel  Flynn,  Flavins  J. 
George,  William  P.  Hall,  Alfred  Helper,  George  M.  Helper,  Derrick  Hodges, 
Orpheus  C.  Kenaston,  Lewis  Randolph,  Milton  E.  Scott,  William  Wiggles- 
worth,  Henry  Wirt,  Robert  White,  William  Baxter.  Nine  others,  James  Dever, 
M.  Randolph,  Franklin  Haskins,  Jack  Springsteed,  James  Hanson,  Charles 
North,  Edwin  Barnett,  James  Cassidy,  Michael  Campbell,  joined  other  regi- 
ments. These  thirty  men  have  the  honor  of  being  the  first  volunteers  to  get 
in  the  service  from  this  county.  Four  of  those  who  returned,  George  A.  Lane, 
C.  M.  Burlingame,  F.  A.  Spellman  and  J.  W.  Vesey,  went  at  once  to  Michi- 
gan and  enlisted  in  the  Fourth  Regiment ;  F.  A.  Spellman  was  killed  in 
battle. 

Capt.  Roy  remained  at  Indianapolis  a  few  weeks,  assisting  in  the  drilling  of 
the  troops  assembled,  and  then  returned  to  this  county  and  commenced  the  organ- 
ization of  a  company  for  the  three  years'  service.  A  large  number  of  those  who 
first  enlisted  rallied  around  him  at  once,  and  the  balance  necessary  for  the 
company  were  obtained  at  Ligonier  and  Goshen.  This  new  company  reached 
Indianapolis  July  2,  1861,  and  was  mustered  in  as  Company  A  of  the 
Twenty -first  Indiana  Regiment  July  20.  Those  who  went  into  this  company 
from  this  county  were  Capt.  William  Roy;  Sergts.  John  A.  Bevington,  Har- 
vey B.  Hall,  Lewis  Apple ;  Corpls.  James  R.  Rheubottom,  Joseph  W.  Talmage, 
Alfred  Sargeant,  George  A.  Lane ;  and  Privates  Alfred  E.  Charter,  Thomas 
Cole,  Benjamin  F.  Culbertson,  Enoch  R.  Culbertson,  Bennice  Dryer,  Perry 


90  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

0.  Everts,  Harvey  J.  Gillette,  John  Hone,  William  Harrison,  Charles  Haskins, 
Simon  Humbert,  James  Ingram,  Jonathan  Irish,  Thaddeus  P.  Jackson,  Albert 
N.  Johnson,  Isaac  Knight,  Oscar  Law,  David  E.  Markham,  Luther  F.  Mason, 
Leonard  N.  McLain,  Adam  W.  Meek,  James  Nash,  Harvej  Olmstead,  William 
H.  Paulius,  Enoch  Perkins,  DeWitt  M.  Pierce,  Andrew  J.  Ritter,  George  J. 
Robbins,  Daniel  Smith,  Peter  Smith,  Halsey  F.  Skadden,  Edwin  R.  Temple, 
George  W.  Vanormin,  William  B.  Warren,  Ira  J.  Woodworth. 

This  latter  company  had  hardly  gone  away  before  another  company  was 
begun.  A  notice  was  issued  to  join  in  the  organization  of  this  by  William  B. 
Bingham,  July  2.  While  the  company  was  being  recruited,  William  Dawson, 
of  Indianapolis,  who  had  just  returned  from  the  three  months'  service,  came  to 
La  Grange,  and  was  invited  to  take  charge  of  the  drilling  of  the  men.  At  the 
election  of  officers  he  was  chosen  Captain.  This  company  was  quartered 
toward  the  last  mostly  at  Lima,  whose  citizens  contributed  blankets,  clothing, 
etc.,  for  the  comfort  of  the  boys,  and  also  $130,  to  provide  the  men  with  red 
flannel  shirts,  with  which  to  march  into  camp.  Donations  were  also  made  by 
citizens  of  La  Grange  and  elsewhere.  The  company  set  out  for  the  Fort 
Wayne  camp  on  the  13th  of  September,  but  before  leaving,  it  was  presented 
with  a  flag  by  the  patriotic  women  of  Lima.  Before  presenting  the  flag.  Miss 
Rebecca  Williams  made  the  following  address : 

Capt.  Dawson — In  behalf  of  Lima's  patriotic  daughters,  I  present  to  you,  and  through 
you,  to  our  brave  volunteers,  this  glorious  banner  of  liberty,  this  flag  of  the  free,  proud  emblem 
of  our  National  existence  and  of  our  National  power.  To  your  care  it  is  henceforth  entrusted. 
It  will  be  yours  fearlessly  to  maintain  its  honor,  and  with  it  the  honor  of  our  cause  and  country; 
to  preserve  it  from  insult  at  the  hands  of  foes  and  traitors,  even,  if  need  be,  at  the  cost  of  dear 
life.  Fighting  beneath  its  shadow,  your  courage  is  to  be  tested,  your  valor  displayed,  your 
laurels  won.  And  you  shall  tight,  not  for  yourselves  alone,  but  for  the  privilege  of  transmitting 
to  the  future  generations  a  Government  the  noblest,  a  Constitution  the  wisest,  a  Liberty  the 
sweetest,  that  ever  blest  a  fair  land  since  creation's  dawn. 

I  scarcely  need  refer  you  to  the  story  of  our  past ;  you  know  full  well  the  story  of 
American  independence ;  how,  long  years  ago,  through  fierce  and  bloody  conflicts,  our  fathers 
marched  to  glorious  victory,  the  Stars  and  Stripes  floating  triumphantly  over  them  ;  how, 
wrapped  in  the  shining  folds  of  this  same  beautiful  banner,  many  a  Revolutionary  hero  lies 
quietly  'neath  the  daisied  sods  of  a  thousand  pleasant  valleys.  The  peace  so  highly  prized,  so 
dearly  purchased  by  our  ancestors,  bestowed  by  them  upon  their  children,  a  precious  legacy,  to 
be  handed  down  in  turn  to  those  who  should  come  after,  they  fondly  trusted  might  never  again 
be  imperiled.  Save  a  few  dark  clouds  across  the  bright  sun,  naught  for  many  years  has 
occurred  to  dim  the  clear  sky  of  our  National  prosperity.  We  have  boasted  loudly  of  the 
strength  of  our  Union,  cemented  by  bonds  of  love,  of  peace,  and  happiness  at  home  ;  of  power 
and  influence  abroad.  Alas!  that  our  hands  folded  so  lightly  in  calm  assurance  of  fair  winds 
and  smooth  seas,  did  not,  by  God's  help,  sooner  seize  the  helm  of  our  noble  ship  of  state,  and 
with  firm  grasp  guide  her  'mid  threatening  storms  and  tempests  to  a  quiet  harbor.  Alas  !  that 
our  ears  attuned  only  to  music,  which  plays  softest  around  the  hearthstone,  from  the  lips  of  little 
children,  or  in  kindly  tones  of  friendship  greeting,  should  be  assailed  by  the  distant  mutterings 
of  the  cannon's  thunder,  whispers  of  the  dread  strife  already  commenced  in  our  land.  You  will 
go  forth,  erelong,  with  thousands,  to  taste  the  stern  realites  of  life  upon  the  battle-field.  Be 
assured  our  warmest  sympathies  and  most  fervent  prayers  will  always  follow  you.  Live  nobly 
up  to  every  duty,  face  bravely  every  danger,  look  well  that  the  spirit  of  true  patriotism  prompts 
every  action,  and  never,  for  one  moment,  let  a  thouglit  of  petty  revenge  or  cruel  hatred  dwell  in 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  91 

year  brave  hearts.  And,  in  that  good  time  coming,  when  right  and  humanity  shall  triumph, 
when  peace  shall  once  more  be  restored  and  secured  to  us,  God  grant  you  may  return,  an  un- 
bioken  number,  to  rejoice  with  us  ever  more  in  the  blessings  of  an  eternal  liberty. 

After  an  eloquent  reply  on  behalf  of  the  company,  by  the  Rev.  B.  Far- 
rand,  Mr.  F.  C.  King  made  an  unexpected  presentation  from  the  ladies  of  La 
Grange,  of  a  Testament  to  each  soldier,  and  accompanied  the  gift  with  these 
remarks : 

Brave  Volunteers — As  a  slight  token  of  your  noble  spirit,  we  could  not  present  you  a 
gift  more  precious  in  its  teachings,  or  more  costly  as  containing  hidden  treasures  than  the  Word 
of  God.  In  it  is  contained  precepts  and  examples,  that  will  prepare  you,  not  only  for  good  and 
faithful  soldiers  of  our  country,  but  also  of  the  cross,  and  as  you  go  forth  to  fight  your  country's 
battles,  will  teach  you  to  fight  the  good  fight  of  faith.  Read  it,  love  it,  and  obey  its  holy  teach- 
ing, and  in  your  own  experience  may  you  have  it  to  say  : 

"This  little  book  I'd  rather  have 
Than  all  the  golden  gems 
That  in  a  monarch's  coffer  shine, 
Than  all  their  diadems." 

The  original  officers  selected  by  the  men  were  :  Captain,  William  Dawson  ; 
First  Lieutenant,  Ebenezer  R.  Barlow  ;  Second  Lieutenant,  Thomas  Burnell ; 
Orderly,  George  Salpaugh.  The  company  was  assigned  to  the  Thirtieth  Reg- 
iment, as  Company  G.  The  formation  of  this  company  had  not  been  com- 
pleted before  another  had  been  begun  again,  under  the  leadership  of  William 
B.  Bingham.  On  October  17,  1861,  this  company  was  ready  to  start  for  camp 
at  Fort  Wayne,  where  a  large  concourse  of  citizens  met  at  the  court  house  to 
see  them  start,  and  bid  them  Godspeed.  The  Standard  of  that  week  says : 
"  Capt.  Bingham  formed  his  company  on  Main  street  and  marched  them  to  the 
Methodist  Church,  where,  in  behalf  of  the  company,  he  thanked  the  ladies  who 
had  so  kindly  furnished  them  with  many  of  the  necessaries  of  camp  life ;  and 
the  company  joined  in  three  hearty  cheers  for  the  fair  donors.  In  return  the 
ladies  gave  three  cheers  for  the  soldiers.  We  have  seldom  witnessed  a  more 
enthusiastic  or  spirited  occasion.  The  company  was  then  marched  to  the  south 
part  of  town,  where  wagons  were  in  waiting  to  convey  them  on  their  journey. 
There  was  no  lack  of  teams  and  many  more  were  offered  than  was  necessary. 
Quite  a  number  of  our  citizens  accompanied  them  as  far  as  Wright's  Corners,  where 
they  took  dinner,  and  reported,  having  been  furnished  by  the  citizens  of  that  vil- 
lage and  vicinity  with  a  most  bountiful  repast,  free  to  all.  Five  or  six  volun- 
teers were  enlisted  at  that  place,  and  Capt.  Bingham  went  into  camp  with  a 
full  company." 

The  ladies  of  La  Grange  presented  each  of  the  soldiers,  before  starting, 
with  a  neat  and  serviceable  blue  woolen  Zouave  jacket,  trimmed  with  velvet. 
On  the  road  to  Fort  Wayne  the  company  held  an  election,  with  the  following 
result :  Captain,  William  B.  Bingham  ;  First  Lieutenant,  Joseph  W.  Danseur ; 
Second  Lieutenant,  Jacob  Newman  ;  Orderly  Sergeant,  Hiram  F.  King.  Capt. 
Bingham  returned  home  the  next  week  for  a  few  days,  when  a  meeting  was 
called  at  the  court  house  (October  25)  for  the  purpose  of  presenting   him  wiih 


92  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

a  sword  that  had  been  purchased  by  the  citizens,  in  demonstration  of  their 
high  regard,  and  as  an  appropriate  token  of  their  confidence  in  him  as  a  soldier. 

A.  B.  Kennedy,  Esq.,  made  the  presentation  speech,  which  was  responded  to 
by  the  Captain,  thanking  the  donors  for  the  elegant  and  significant  present, 
and  pledged  his  honor  that  the  weapon  should  never  be  dishonored  whilst  in 
his  possession.  Patriotic  songs  were  sung  and  short  speeches  made  by 
Revs.  D.  P.  Hartman  and  Cathcart.  This  company  became  Company 
H.  of  the  Forty-fourth  Indiana  Infantry.  No  more  companies  were  organ- 
ized in  the  county  in  the  year  1861,  but  numbers  of  men  volunteered 
from  time  to  time  to  fill  up  the  ranks  of  these  companies,  and  other  com- 
mands. Dr.  J.  H.  Rerick  enlisted  in  Capt  Dawson's  company,  but  before 
its  muster-in  he  was  appointed  Assistant  Surgeon  of  the  Forty-fourth  Indi- 
ana, and  commissioned  September  12,  1861,  and  assisted  in  the  organization 
of  that  regiment.  There  was  up  to  this  time  about  three  hundred  enlist- 
ments from  the  county.  Such  a  number  called  forth  suddenly  to  war,  by  a 
Oovernment  illy  prepared  to  furnish  a  vast  army,  and  from  communities  horror 
stricken  at  the  idea  of  bloody  strife,  could  but  cause  intense  anxiety  in  the  homes 
the  volunteers  had  left.  Soldiers'  aid  societies,  especially  by  the  women,  sprung 
5ap,  for  supplying  the  soldiers  with  bedding,  clothing  and  daintier  food.  On 
the  1st  of  November,  1861,  a  Ladies'  Soldier's  Aid  Society  was  regularly  organ- 
ized at  La  Grange,  adopting  a  Constitution  and  By-Laws,  and  the  ladies  in  all 
the  townships  were  requested  to  form  auxiliary  societies.  The  officers  elected 
at  this  meeting  were  :  Mrs.  John  Kromer,  President ;  Mrs.  W.  Cathcart,  Vice 
President ;  Mrs.  Laura  Butler,  Secretary ;  Mrs.  C.  0.  Myers,  Treasurer  ;  a 
committee  consisting  of  Mrs.  John  W.  Welch,  Mrs.  Isaac  Carpenter,  Mrs. 
Fred  Everhart,  Miss  M.  A.  H.  Menelaus,  Miss  H.  Ford,  Miss  S.  Lougher,  and 
Directresses — Mrs.  F.  C.  King,  Mrs.  D.  P.  Hartman,  Mrs.  A.  Ellison. 

A  number  of  Union  meetings  were  held  during  the  summer  and  fall. 
One  was  held  at  the  court  house  on  the  evening  of  the  21st  of  August,  which 
was  addressed  by  Hon.  William  Mitchell,  then  Member  of  Congress  from  the 
district,  and  who  had  witnessed  the  first  Bull  Run  battle.  Rev.  C.  Cory,  of 
Lima,  presided  at  this  meeting  and  J.  H.  Rerick  acted  as  Secretary,  and  Joseph 

B.  Wade,  A.  B.  Kennedy  and  Joseph  Cummings  as  Committee  on  Resolutions. 
The  resolutions  requested  the  County  Commissioners  to  provide  for  quartering 
the  troops  and  to  make  appropriations  for  the  maintenance  of  the  families  of 
volunteers,  that  a  committee  of  five  be  appointed  to  canvass  the  county  for 
promoting  enlistments,  and  that  Lieut.  William  Dawson,  of  Col.  Wallace's 
famous  regiment,  be  requested  to  remain  and  aid  in  raising  and  drilling  a  com- 
pany. The  committee  appointed  to  canvass  the  county  were  J.  B.  Wade,  Jacob 
Newman,  William  Barlow,  Hiram  Smith  and  Rev.  J.  P.  Force.  The  next 
^evening,  a  similar  meeting  was  held  in  Lima,  at  which  Rev.  C.  Cory  again 
presided  and  J.  S.  Castle  acted  as  Secretary.  The  Committee  on  Resolutions — 
O.  H.  Jewett,  J.  M.  Flagg  and  J.  P.  Force — reported  strong  war  resolutions 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  93 

and  requested  the  County  Commissioners  to  provide  for  soldiers'  families.  A 
committee,  consisting  of  W.  Rawles,  J.  H.  Morrison,  N.  Stacy,  0.  H.  Jewett 
and  S.  Herbert,  was  appointed  to  canvass  the  northern  part  of  the  county. 

We  wish  it  Avere  possible  to  give  due  credit  to  all  who  took  an  active  in- 
terest in  patriotic  work  at  home  during  the  war.  The  names  we  have  mentioned 
are  those  most  frequently  occurring  in  the  newspapers  at  that  time.  It  is  also 
impossible  to  now  compute  the  contributions  by  the  women  for  the  comfort  of 
the  soldiers — of  blankets,  clothing,  fruits  and  hospital  stores ;  almost  as  impos- 
sible as  it  would  be  to  estimate  the  value  to  our  country  of  the  effect  of  these 
tokens  of  kind  regard  upon  the  weary  and  disheartened  soldier  at  the  front.  As 
a  sample  of  the  donations  made  there  were  reported  by  the  Ladies'  Soldiers' 
Aid  Society  November  28,  1861,  besides  membership  fees  and  articles  manu- 
factured by  the  society,  two  comforts,  forty -four  pairs  of  socks,  four  quilts,  four 
blankets,  three  sheets,  one  pair  drawers,  two  pair  mittens  and  forty-two  cuts 
of  yarn,  and  $10  cash.  There  were  other  aid  societies  organized  by  the  women 
of  Lima  and  Wolcottville.  A  mass  meeting  was  held  at  La  Grange  on  Wash- 
ington's birthday,  1862,  in  which  a  long  series  of  resolutions  were  passed,  ex- 
pressing appreciation  of  the  wisdom  and  energy  of  the  President,  and  resolving 
to  ever  cherish  the  memory  of  the  slain  on  the  battle-field  and  of  those  perish- 
ing in  the  camp  or  on  the  mighty  ocean,  and  expressing  sympathy  for  loyal  and 
oppressed  citizens  within  the  limits  of  the  Confederate  conspiracy. 

In  July,  1862,  under  another  call  for  troops,  enlistment  was  commenced 
in  the  county  for  a  company  for  the  Seventy-fourth  regiment,  ordered  to  be 
raised  in  this  Congressional  district.  Dr.  Gustav  Sites,  who  had  had  twelve- 
years'  service  in  the  Prussian  Army,  and  Albert  D.  Fobes,  who  had  been  through 
the  West  Virginia  campaign,  in  the  Eleventh  Indiana,  were  commissioned  Sec- 
ond Lieutenants  for  the  organization  of  the  company.  Jo  Rawson  Webster,  a 
then  recent  graduate  from  Wabash  College,  was  the  first  man  to  put  his  name 
down  for  the  wars  in  this  company,  and  took  a  very  active  part  in  organizing  the 
company.  A  war  meeting  was  held  at  La  Grange  July  19,  presided  over  by 
John  Kromer,  with  C.  0.  Myers,  Secretary,  and  J.  B.  Wade,  A.  S.  Case  and 
F.  P.  Griffith,  Committee.  The  meeting  was  addressed  by  William  Rheubot- 
tom  and  J.  R.  Webster.  The  resolutions  recognized  the  perils  of  the  country 
as  alarming  and  pledged  every  means  within  reach  to  aid  the  Government,  and 
that  it  was  the  duty  of  those  who  could  not  peril  their  lives  in  the  cause  to  con- 
tribute every  dollar,  to  yield  every  sympathy,  and  to  open  their  hearts  fully 
to  every  emotion  which  may  commend  them  to  the  cause  of  their  suffering 
country,  its  defenders  and  their  families.  The  Commissioners  were  requested 
to  make  appropriations  for  the  payment  of  bounties  and  for  the  necessary  ex- 
penses of  the  families  of  soldiers.  There  was,  at  that  time,  some  recruiting 
being  done  for  the  Twelfth  Cavalry.  The  meeting  recommended  that  all  efforts 
be  concentrated  on  raising  a  company  for  the  infantry  regiment  and  that  Lieut. 
Sites  proceed  at  once  to  raise  the  company.     The  following  were  appointed  a 


94  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

committee  to  assist  him :  J.  K.  Morrow,  J.  B.  Wade,  William  Rheubottom,  H. 
Crocker  and  A.  S.  Case.  The  County  Commissioners,  a  few  days  after,  made 
an  appropriation  of  $25  to  each  volunteer,  and  $1.50  per  week  for  the  wife  and 
75  cents  for  each  child  of  the  married  men  who  might  enlist  until  their  muster-in. 
An  enthusiastic  war  meeting  was  held  at  South  Milford  August  14,  at  which 
L.  D.  McGown  presided  and  J,  S.  Rowe  was  Secretary.  The  meeting  was  ad- 
dressed by  William  Rheubottom,  J.  Z.  Gower  and  Francis  Henry.  The  latter 
urged  the  enlistment  of  men  and  favored  the  drafting  of  a  million  of  men,  if 
necessary,  to  put  down  the  rebellion  and  restore  peace  on  a  constitutional  basis. 
This  meeting  recommended  that  the  county  give  the  same  bounty  to  cavalry 
volunteers  as  to  infantry.  In  consequence  of  this  agitation,  the  La  Grange 
Standard  of  Angnat  18,  1862,  was  enabled  to  announce:  "One  hundred  and 
twenty-two  cheers  and  a  tiger  for  Old  La  Grange.  La  Grange  has  her  company 
now  full  and  it  will  start  to-day  for  the  rendezvous  at  Fort  Wayne.  Last 
Thursday  she  sent  seventeen  men  to  join  the  cavalry  company  at  the  same 
place,  making  in  all  one  hundred  and  twenty-two  men !  From  Friday  morning 
to  Wednesda}"^  evening — five  working  days — eighty  men  were  enrolled  and 
sworn  in.  The  entire  number,  with  two  exceptions,  were  recruited  in  eleven 
days.  We  call  that  doing  well."  And  indeed  it  was.  The  officers  chosen  by 
the  men  for  their  company  were — Captain,  Jo  Rawson  Webster;  First  Lieuten- 
ant, W.  D.  Wildman ;  Orderly  Sergeant,  James  H.  Bigelow.  The  departure 
of  this  company  was  described  as  a  very  affecting  scene.  At  an  early  hour  the 
volunteers  and  their  friends  poured  into  town  by  hundreds,  and  at  9  o'clock  the 
streets  were  thronged  with  men,  women  and  children,  all  with  eager,  anxious 
faces,  and  many  indeed  were  the  tears  shed.  "The  heaving  breast,  the  quiver- 
ing lip  and  starting  tear  of  brave  men  and  stout  hearts  as  the  last  fond  embrace 
was  given  to  the  wife  and  children  of  the  men  who  had  voluntarily  consented 
to  sever  for  a  season  all  the  endearing  ties  and  comforts  of  home  for  the  hard- 
ships of  the  tented  field  showed  that,  severe  as  the  sacrifice  might  be,  yet  they 
dared  to  do  their  duty  when  their  country  was  in  danger  and  required  their 
assistance."  A  large  number  of  citizens  went  with  the  soldiers  as  far  as  Wol- 
cottville,  where  a  grand  picnic  dinner  had  been  prepared.  It  should  not  be 
forgotten  that  during  the  war  there  was  no  railroad  through  the  county  and  all 
the  companies  which  had  their  rendezvous  at  Fort  Wayne  had  to  march  there 
on  foot  or  be  transported  by  wagon.  The  above  company,  when  reaching  Fort 
Wayne,  was  made  Company  G  of  the  Eighty-eighth  Regiment. 

The  same  paper  in  which  the  exultant  announcement  of  raising  of  the 
above  company  was  made  contained  the  proclamation  of  the  President  calling 
for  300,000  more  troops,  and  the  rather  startling  announcement  that  in  this 
State  a  draft  would  be  required  to  raise  the  men,  and  a  commendation  of  that 
as  the  only  just  and  equitable  method  of  raising  the  required  quota.  "  The 
county  has  done  nobly  in  raising  volunteers,  but  a  continuance  of  that  course 
cannot  be  carried  on  without  doing  great  injustice  to  a  certain  class  upon  whose 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  95 

shoulders  a  part  of  the  burden  must  be  forced,  if  they  will  not  carry  it  will- 
ingly. No  more  volunteering  in  La  Grange  !  Let  there  be  a  draft  as  soon  as 
possible  !"  Such  comments  as  this  only  stirred  up  the  volunteering  spirit  the 
more,  and  Harley  Crocker  at  once  stepped  forward  and  called  for  volunteers 
for  another  company,  and  active  work  for  this  at  once  set  in. 

The  machinery  for  drafting  was  at  once  put  in  motion.  Timothy  Fields, 
of  Ontario,  was  appointed  Draft  Commissioner;  E.  P.  Spellman,  Provost  Mar- 
shal, and  Dr.  E.  G.  White,  Medical  Examiner,  for  the  county.  About  the 
same  time,  recruiting  officers  for  the  Thirtieth  and  Forty-fourth  Regiments 
were  in  the  county  selecting  recruits  for  those  regiments.  With  all  these,  the 
people  were  fairly  aroused.  A  Union  County  Convention  was  held  September 
3,  presided  over  by  William  S.  Pi-entiss,  in  which  it  was  resolved  to  "  uphold 
the  Government  in  the  use  of  every  means  which  God  and  the  Constitution 
have  placed  within  our  reach  to  exterminate  rebels  and  the  rebellion,  and  in 
favor  of  the  confiscation  of  all  property  of  all  rebels,  North  as  well  as  South." 
There  was  about  this  time  a  spicy  correspondence  between  four  then  promi- 
nent lawyers  in  the  county  about  enlisting,  though  it  is  hardly  proper  to 
detail  here.  The  State  Commissioner,  on  September  22,  1862,  notified  the 
County  Commissioners  that  the  following  numbers  would  have  to  be  drafted 
from  the  townships  named,  unless  made  up  at  once  by  volunteers :  Clear- 
spring,  8  ;  Milford,  7  ;  Eden,  9  ;  Van  Buren,  22  ;  total,  46.  Thirty-one  were 
subsequently  drafted,  twelve  of  whom  procured  substitutes.  The  most  of 
these  men  went  into  the  Thirtieth  Regiment. 

Capt.  Crocker's  company  was  soon  filled,  and  on  the  27th  of  September, 
the  day  of  their  departure,  were  treated  by  the  women  of  La  Grange  to  a 
bountiful  dinner,  on  the  grounds  of  A.  S.  Case,  now  a  portion  of  the  public 
square.  No  company  left  for  camp  without  some  token  of  respect  by  the 
patriotic  women  of  the  county.  For  this  last  company  also,  the  young  ladies 
of  La  Grange  arranged  a  "hop,"  which  was  well  attended,  and  when  the  boys 
reached  South  Milford,  the  women  of  that  neighborhood  had  spread  a  picnic 
dinner  for  them.  The  officers  chosen  by  the  men  in  this  company  were :  Cap- 
tain, Harley  Crocker  ;  First  Lieutenant,  John  K.  Morrow  ;  Second  Lieutenant, 
James  W.  Boyd.  The  company  was  assigned  to  the  One  Hundredth  Infantry, 
as  Company  C.  Of  this  regiment,  Robert  Parrett,  a  prominent  lawyer  of  the 
county,  was  appointed  Major.  Dr.  D.  W.  Rupert,  of  Lexington,  was  ap- 
pointed Assistant  Surgeon  of  the  Thirtieth,  on  January  1.  He  was  an  excel- 
lent physician  and  as  a  man  highly  esteemed  by  his  regiment  and  a  large  circle 
of  acquaintances  in  the  county.  He  died  at  Nashville,  Tenn.,  October  2, 
1862.  Dr.  James  Miller,  of  La  Grange,  was  appointed  to  succeed  him  Octo- 
ber 10. 

The  year  1863  was  the  most  discouraging  for  the  Union  cause  of  all  the 
years  of  the  war.  Its  influence  was  felt  in  La  Grange  County,  but  not  to  so  great 
an  extent  as  in  other  parts  of  the  country.     The  differences  between  the  parties 


96  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

widened,  and  bitterness  of  feeling  was  somewhat  increased.  A  Union  mass  meet- 
ing was  held  at  the  court  house  February  21,  Col.  Jonathan  Edgecomb,  of 
Lima,  President,  with  A.  B.  Kennedy  and  C.  0.  Myers,  Secretaries.  The  meet- 
ing was  addressed  by  Col.  Charles  Case,  in  strong  and  eloquent  words.  The 
Committee  on  Resolutions,  A.  S.  Case,  Rufus  Patch,  Dr.  A.  M.  Spaulding, 
George  Lotterer,  J.  M.  Flagg  and  L.  L.  Wildman,  reported  a  series  of  long 
resolutions,  condemning  secession,  every  scheme  and  intrigue  to  impair  the 
confidence  of  the  people  in  the  administration,  declaring  in  favor  of  confisca- 
tion of  the  property  of  those  in  armed  rebellion,  and  of  those  who  gave  aid 
and  comfort  to  it ;  approving  the  emancipation  proclamation  as  a  military  neces- 
sity, and  the  arming  of  liberated  slaves ;  expressing  admiration  of  the  soldiers 
in  the  field,  and  heartily  indorsing  Gov.  0.  P.  Morton.  The  seventh  resolution 
was  as  follows : 

Resolved,  That  for  the  purpose  and  to  the  end  of  restoring  our  country  to  its  former  position 
of  prosperity  and  greatness,  we  are  ready  to  postpone  every  consideration  which  provides  for 
political  party  triumphs,  until  the  Union  is  restored — the  rebellion  is  crushed  by  the  power  of 
the  Government  it  has  defied  ;  and  to  this  end  we  do  hereby  pledge  ourselves,  individually  and 
collectively,  by  our  love  of  country,  by  our  love  of  liberty,  for  the  sake  of  ourselves  and  poster- 
ity, in  the  name  of  our  venerated  ancestors,  in  the  name  of  the  human  family,  deeply  interested 
in  the  trust  committed  to  our  hands,  by  all  the  past  glory  we  have  won,  by  all  that  awaits  us  as 
a  nation,  if  we  are  true  to  ourselves,  true  to  the  principles  of  justice  and  humanity,  and  true 
and  faithful  in  gratitude  to  Him  who  has  hitherto  so  signally  blessed  us,  to  stand  firmly  by  the 
Constitution  and  the  Union,  never  wavering,  never  faltering ;  that  we  will  cherish  with  a  deep 
and  abiding  love  and  affection  the  sentiments  of  Massachusetts'  immortal  statesman,  that  senti- 
ment dear  to  every  true  American  heart,  "  Liberty  and  Union,  now  and  forever,  one  and  insep- 
arable." 

On  the  28th  of  February,  a  Democratic  mass  meeting  was  held  at  La 
Grange,  at  which  Francis  Henry  presided,  and  G.  W.  Weyburn  and  A.  Cone 
acted  as  Secretaries,  and  A.  Ellison,  Hawley  Peck,  John  A.  Bartlett,  William 
Roderick,  James  Kennedy,  Harvey  Olmstead  and  John  Kromer  acted  as  Com- 
mittee on  Resolutions.  This  meeting  was  addressed  by  Hon.  J.  R.  Edgerton, 
then  Member  of  Congress  for  the  district.  The  resolutions  reported  and  adopt- 
ed denounced  the  heresy  of  secession,  favored  the  inauguration  of  such  action 
honorable  alike  to  contending  sections  as  will  stop  the  ravages  of  war,  avert  uni- 
versal bankruptcy,  and  unite  all  the  States  upon  terms  of  equality,  "  as  mem- 
bers of  one  confederacy,"  condemned  the  action  of  the  Federal  Government  in 
suspending  the  habeas  corpus,  arresting  of  citizens  not  subject  to  military  duty 
without  warrant  or  authority,  abridging  the  freedom  of  speech  and  of  the  press, 
establishing  of  a  system  of  espionage  by  a  secret  police,  declaring  martial  law 
over  States  not  in  rebellion,  attempting  to  enforce  a  compensated  emancipation, 
dismembering  Virginia ;  and  expressed  sympathy  for  the  soldiers  who  enlisted 
to  sustain  the  Constitution  and  the  Union,  and  condemned  all  frauds  that  de- 
prived them  of  "  proper  food,  raiment  and  clothing." 

Another  Union  Mass  meeting  was  held  at  La  Grange  April  22,  in  which 
were  passed  resolutions  strongly  condemnatory  of  the  "  traitorous  conduct "  of 


^,X^^^*^^^-- 


^;i::^;^^^ 


JOHNSON  TP. 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  99 

a  portion  of  the  Indiana  Legislature,  and  all  factions  opposed  to  the  Federal 
and  State  authorities.  Col.  Hawkins,  of  Tennessee,  spoke  at  this  meeting,  and 
Dr.  A.  M.  Spaulding  presided. 

There  was  but  little  volunteering  this  summer.  The  agitation  was  no  less, 
but  rather  greater  and  more  serious,  but  not  of  the  kind  that  greatly  promoted 
enlistments.  Frequent  Union  meetings  were  held  in  different  parts  of  the 
county.  Toward  fall,  active  recruiting  commenced  again.  John  Q.  Reed  en- 
listed a  number  of  men  for  the  Seventh  Cavalry,  and  David  Bennett  commenced 
raising  a  company  for  the  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-ninth  Indiana  Infantry, 
which  he  had  mustered  in  December  16.  Hon.  J.  P.  Jones,  an  old  resident  of  the 
county,  who  had  been  elected  Clerk  of  the  Supreme  Court  in  1860,  returned 
and  assisted  in  addressing  the  meetings  and  promoting  enlistments. 

The  year  1864  opened  more  cheerfully ;  many  veteran  soldiers  who  had 
re-enlisted  returned  home  on  a  month's  furlough,  and  materially  aided  in  in- 
creasing the  enthusiasm  for  the  Union  cause.  A  mass  meeting  was  held  at 
La  Grange  February  13,  expressing  unabated  determination  to  continue  the 
fight.  The  number  of  men  remaining  in  the  several  townships  enrolled  for 
military  service,  and  the  number  due  from  each,  in  February,  was  reported  as 

lOllOWS  :  ENROLLED.  QUOTA. 

Greenfield 155  12 

Lima 191  11 

Van  Buren 149  4 

Newbury 161  14 

Clay 134  9 

Bloomfield 244  10 

Springfield 133  4 

Milford 155  13 

Johnson 156      extra,    1 

Clearspring  163  13 

Eden 121  13 

Lieut.  Daniel  Lieb  recruited  a  number  of  men  for  the  Twelfth  Indiana 
Cavalry  early  in  this  year. 

To  encourage  enlistments,  considerable  amounts  were  raised  in  the  several 
townships,  voluntarily,  as  township  bounty.  In  August,  the  draft  officers 
reported  202  men  due.  A  draft  soon  followed,  but  how  many  men  were  ob- 
tained we  have  not  been  able  to  ascertain.  The  enlistments  this  year  from 
the  county  was  almost  wholly  recruiting  for  old  companies.  No  new  organiza- 
tions were  made.  Dr.  Edward  B.  Speed,  of  La  Grange,  an  estimable  man 
and  good  physician,  was  appointed  Assistant  Surgeon  for  the  Forty-fourth 
Indiana  Volunteers,  in  July,  and  immediately  joined  that  command  at  Chatta- 
nooga, Tenn.  While  on  the  way,  he  underwent  a  severe  shock  from  a  railroad 
accident,  and  was  taken  sick  soon  after  his  arrival.  He  died  in  the  officers' 
hospital,  at  Lookout  Mountain,  September  14. 

Under  the  December  call,  1864,  by  the  President,  for  "  300,000  more,"  La 
Grange  County  was  asked  to  contribute  191.    The  County  Commissioners,  in  Jan- 


100  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

uary,  18G5,  ordered  a  county  bounty  of  $400  to  be  paid  every  volunteer  who 
should  thereafter  be  accredited  to  the  county,  to  be  paid  in  two  installments,  $200 
in  fourteen  months,  and  $200  in  twenty-eight  months,  for  the  payment  of  which 
county  bonds  were  issued.  This  action  was  subsequently  endorsed  by  a 
mass  meeting  at  La  Grange,  February  3,  1865.  In  addition  to  this  county 
bounty,  the  townships  raised  a  large  amount  to  induce  volunteers,  and  save 
them  from  the  draft.  John  H.  Oaton  was  commissioned  Second  Lieutenant 
and  recruiting  officer  to  raise  a  company  in  the  county.  This  company  was 
speedily  raised  and  all  mustered  in  during  the  month  of  February.  It  was 
officered  by  the  election  of  John  H.  Caton,  Captain ;  William  Hobson,  First 
Lieutenant ;  and  A.  Bennett,  Second  Lieutenant.  The  company  became  Com- 
pany F,  One  Hundred  and  Fifty-second  Regiment.  These  were  the  last  enlist- 
ments in  the  county  for  the  rebellion. 

In  April  came  the  joyful  news  of  the  surrender  of  Gen.  Lee  at  Appomat- 
tox, which  was  received  with  a  wonderful  joy,  and  such  an  abandon  of  rejoic- 
ing and  bonfiring  and  general  reckless  noisiness  followed  for  a  day  or  two,  as 
has  never  since  been  seen  or  felt  in  the  country.  Hardly  had  the  people  real- 
ized what  they  were  rejoicing  for,  when  the  news  came  in  the  evening  of  the 
14th  of  the  assassination  of  Abraham  Lincoln.  Then  no  mark  of  sorrow  seemed 
too  mournful,  and  a  sincere  grief  was  the  last  link  which  was  formed  in  that 
"  heroic  age  "  to  bind  together  those  who  had  worked  or  watched  and  prayed 
for  America. 

Since  the  rebellion.  La  Grange  has  sent  one  brave  o95cer  into  the  National 
army — Lieut.  Samuel  A.  Cherry.  Mr.  Cherry  entered  the  West  Point  Acad- 
emy during  Grant's  first  Administration,  and,  after  graduation,  entered  the  serv- 
ice, where  he  had  a  brief,  but  brilliant  career,  ended  by  a  tragic  death  on 
the  plains.  He  was  a  gentleman  of  many  accomplishments,  beloved  at  home, 
and  popular  in  society  circles  throughout  the  country.  At  the  time  of  his 
death,  he  was  betrothed  to  a  daughter  of  Hon.  Harry  White,  of  Indiana, 
Penn.     The  following  order,  issued  by  Col.  Merritt,  contains  a  brief  sketch  of 

Lieut.  Cherry's  services: 

Headquarters  Fifth  U.  S.  Cavalry,  i 
Ft.  Laramie,  W.  T.,  May  17,  188L     f 

It  is  the  sad  duty  of  the  Commanding  Officer  of  the  Fifth  Cavalry  to  announce  the  sudden 
death  of  a  brilliant  young  officer  of  the  regiment.  Lieut.  S.  A.  Cherry  was  killed  while  on  duty 
pursuing  a  party  of  outlaws,  some  twenty-five  miles  north  of  Fort  Niobrara,  by  a  man  of  his  own 
detachment,  who,  it  is  supposed,  was  temporarily  insane.  This  is  the  only  reasonable  solution 
of  the  crime,  with  the  information  now  possessed. 

Lieut.  Cherry  was  born  in  Indiana;  graduated  at  the  Military  Academy  in  1875,  and  was 
promoted  to  be  Second  Lieutenant  in  the  Twenty-third  Infantry,  from  which  regiment  he  was 
transferred  to  the  Fifth  Cavalry  in  1876.  He  reported  to  his  Regimental  Commander  in  the 
Black  Hills,  October,  1876,  in  the  latter  part  of  the  Sioux  campaign  of  that  year,  and  since  that 
time  he  has  served  with  the  regiment  with  unfrequent  interruptions,  until  the  time  of  his  death. 
He  was  particularly  distinguished  for  cool  courage,  and  distinguished  ability  in  the  face  of  an 
enemy  at  the  battle  and  subsequent  siege  of  Maj.  Thornburg's  command,  at  Milk  River,  Colo., 
in  1879,  for  which  he  received  honorable  mention  in  orders,  and  a  vote  of  thanks  of  the  Terri- 
torial Legislature  of  Wyoming.     The  cireer  of  Lieut.  Cherry,  tliough  brief,  has  been  most  honor- 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  101 

able,  and  mark«d  by  a  cheerful,  vigorou^  and  soldierly  discharge  of  duty.  His  character  was 
mos:  free  from  defects.  He  made  warm  friends  of  all  who  knew  him  well,  and  it  is  certain  he 
never  gave  cause  for  the  enmity  of  any  one.  He  was  positive,  though  happy  indisposition  as  a 
man,  loyal  and  devoted  as  a  friend,  brave,  capable  and  chivalrous  as  an  officer — one,  in  short, 
whose  sad  death  will  long  be  felt  in  the  regiment  as  an  irreparable  loss  in  every  way.  As  a 
mark  of  respect,  the  guidon  of  the  company  with  which  he  served  will  be  draped  for  thirty 
days,  and  the  officers  of  the  regiment  will  wear  the  usual  badge  of  mourning  for  the  same 
period. 

By  order  of  Col.  Wesley  Merritt. 

The  following  are  the  campaigns  in  which  companies  and  parts  of  com- 
panies from  the  county  participated  : 

Company  B,  Seventeenth  Regiment  —  Western  Virginia,  1861 ;  Kentucky 
and  Tennessee,  1862  ;  siege  of  Corinth,  1862  ;  pursuit  of  Bragg,  1862  ;  Rose- 
crans'  campaign  in  Tennessee,  1863 ;  Chattanooga  and  East  Tennessee,  1863  : 
against  Atlanta,  1864  ;  Nelson's  raid,  Alabama  and  Georgia,  1865. 

Company  A,  Twenty-first  Regiment,  First  Heavy  Artillery  —  East  Mary- 
land and  East  Virginia,  1861 ;  against  New  Orleans,  1862  ;  Baton  Rouge  and 
Teche,  1862  ;  against  Port  Hudson,  1863;  West  Louisiana,  1863;  Red  River, 
1864;  against  Mobile,  1865;  Louisiana  and  Gulf  Coast,  1865. 

Company  G,  Thirtieth  Regiment  Infantry — Kentucky,  1861;  Tennessee 
and  Kentucky,  1862  ;  siege  of  Corinth,  1862  ;  pursuit  of  Bragg,  1862  ;  Rose- 
crans'  campaign  in  Tennessee,  1863 ;  against  Atlanta,  1864  ;  pursuit  of  Hood, 
1864  ;  East  Tennessee,  1865  ;  Texas,  1865. 

Company  H,  Forty-fourth  Indiana  Infantry  —  Western  Kentucky,  1861; 
Tennessee  and  Kentucky,  1862;  siege  of  Corinth,  1862;  pursuit  of  Bragg, 
1862 ;  Rosecrans'  campaign  in  Tennessee,  1863 ;  against  Chattanooga,  1863  ; 
East  Tennessee,  1864-65. 

Company  G,  Eighty-eighth  Indiana  Infantry — Against  Kii'by  Smith, 
Kentucky,  1862 ;  Kentucky  and  Tennessee,  1862 ;  pursuit  of  Bragg,  1862  ; 
Rosecrans'  campaign  in  Tennessee,  1863 ;  against  Atlanta,  1864 ;  pursuit  of 
Hood,  1864  ;  Sherman's  march  to  the  sea,  1864  ;  through  the  Carolinas,  1865. 

Company  C,  One  Hundredth  Indiana  Infantry  —  West  Tennessee  and 
North  Mississippi,  1862-63  ;  against  Vicksburg,  1863  ;  relief  of  Chattanooga, 

1863  ;  East  Tennessee,  1863  ;  against  Atlanta,  1864  ;  pursuit  of  Hood,  1864  ; 
Sherman's  march  to  the  sea,  1864 ;  through  the  Carolinas,  1865. 

Company  C,  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-ninth  Infantry — East  Tennessee, 

1864  ;  against  Atlanta,  1864 ;  pursuit  of  Hood,  1864  ;  North  Carolina,  1865. 
Company    G,    One    Hundred   and   Fifty-second   Infantry  —  Shenandoah 

Valley,  1865  ;  West  Virginia,  1865. 

One  Hundred  and  Twenty-seventh  Regiment  (Twelfth  Cavalry)  —  Ten- 
nessee and  North  Alabama,  1864-65;  against  Mobile,  1865;  Alabama  and 
Mississippi,  1865. 

There  were  soldiers  from  the  county  in  the  Eastern  campaigns  of  the 
Army  of  the  Potomac,  but  the  records  are  unobtainable,  they  being  mostly  in 
regiments  from  other  States. 


102  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

If  our  space  would  permit,  we  would  be  pleased  to  record  the  name  of 
every  soldier  who  enlisted  from  this  county,  in  the  service  of  his  country  dur- 
ing the  rebellion.  This  not  being  practicable,  it  may  not  be  improper  to  give 
the  names  of  those  who  attained  to  oflScial  position,  and  their  rank.  With  few 
exceptions,  all  these  entered  the  service  as  privates.  It  will  be  seen  that  the 
county  is  entirely  destitute  of  Colonels  and  Brigadier  Generals,  a  somewhat  ex- 
ceptionable condition.  But  the  county  having  filled  the  ranks  with  good  fight- 
ing men  to  an  honorable  extent,  the  lack  of  Brigadiers  is  not  sorely  felt. 

Lieutenant  Colonels — Joseph  R.  Webster,  Forty-fourth  United  States  Col- 
ored Troops  ;  William  Roy,  Twenty-first  Indiana. 

Majors — Joseph  R.  Webster,  Eighty-eighth  Indiana  Volunteers  ;  Robert 
Parrett,  One  Hundredth  Regiment;  Ichabod  S.  Jones,  First  Tennessee  Artil- 
lery, Colored;  W.  B.  Bingham,  Forty-fourth  Indiana;  William  Roy,  Twenty- 
first  Indiana. 

Surgeons  (rank  of  Major) — John  H.  Rerick,  Forty-fourth  Indiana  Volun- 
teers. 

Captains — John  C.  Lamson,  Company  B,  Seventeenth  Indiana ;  William 
Roy,  Company  A,  Twenty-first  Regiment ;  William  Dawson,  Company  G, 
Thirtieth  Indiana;  James  McPreston,  Company  G,  Thirtieth  Indiana;  Will- 
iam B.  Bingham,  Company  H,  Forty-fourth  Indiana ;  Jacob  Newman,  Compa- 
ny H,  Forty-fourth  Indiana ;  Joseph  H.  Danseur,  Company  H,  Forty-fourth 
Indiana ;  Hiram  F.  King,  Company  H,  Forty-fourth  Indiana ;  Samuel  P. 
Bradford,  Company  H,  Forty-fourth  Indiana ;  Joseph  R.  Webster,  Company 
G,  Eighty-eighth  Indiana ;  John  M.  Preston,  Company  G,  Eighty-eighth  Indi- 
ana ;  William  D.  Wildman,  Company  I,  Eighty-eighth  Indiana ;  Harley 
Crocker,  Company  C,  One  Hundredth  Indiana ;  Edward  Fobes,  Company  C,. 
One  Hundredth  Indiana ;  John  B.  Pratt,  Company  C,  One  Hundredth  Indi- 
ana ;  David  Bennett,  Company  C,  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-ninth  Indiana ;. 
John  H.  Caton,  Company  F,  One  Hundred  and  Fifty-second  Indiana. 

First  Lieutenants — Harvey  B.  Hall,  Company  A,  Twenty-first ;  Ebenezer 
R.  Barlow,  Company  B,  Thirtieth ;  George  L.  Salpaugh,  Company  G,  Thirti- 
eth ;  James  McPreston,  Company  G,  Thirtieth ;  William  H.  Hall,  Company 
G,  Thirtieth ;  Joseph  H.  Danseur,  Company  H,  Forty-fourth ;  Hiram  F. 
King,  Company  H,  Forty-fourth  ;  Daniel  P.  Strecker.  Company  H,  Forty- 
fourth  ;  Hiram  Pontius,  Company  H,  Forty-fourth ;  William  D.  Wildman, 
Company  G,  Eighty-eighth ;  Jacob  Sperow,  Company  G,  Eighty-eighth  ;. 
James  W.  Boyd,  Company  C,  One  Hundredth ;  Edward  Fobes,  Company  C, 
One  Hundredth ;  John  B.  Pratt,  Company  C,  One  Hundredth ;  Samuel  W. 
Dille,  Company  C,  One  Hundredth ;  George  I.  Tuttle,  Company  C,  Twelfth 
Cavalry,  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-seventh  Regiment ;  Garner  Sisemore,  same  ; 
Horace  Hamlin,  Company  C,  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-ninth  Regiment; 
William  H.  Atchinson,  Company  C,  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-ninth ;  Henry 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  103 

M.  Kromer,  Company  G,  One  Hundred  and  Forty-second ;  William  Hobson, 
Company  F,  One  Hundred  and  Fifty-second, 

Assistant  Surgeons  (rank,  First  Lieutenants  of  Cavalry) — John  H. 
Rerick,  Forty-fourth;  James  Miller,   Thirtieth    Indiana  Volunteers;  Edward 

B.  Speed,  Forty-fourth ;  Newton  G.  Eno,  Eighty-eighth ;  Delos  W.  Rupert, 
Thirtieth  Indiana. 

Acting  Assistant  Surgeons,  United  States  Army — Edward  G.  White, 
Charles  J.  Montgomery. 

Quartermaster  (rank,  First  Lieutenant) — Samuel  P.  Bradford,  Forty- 
fourth  Indiana ;  John  M.  Littlefield,  Twelfth  Cavalry,  One  Hundred  and 
Twenty-seventh  Regiment ;  James  McPreston,  One  Hundred  and  Fifty-second 
Regiment. 

Second  Lieutenants — William  S.  Sraurr,  Company  H,  Twenty-first  Regi- 
ment ;  Harvey  B.  Hall,  Company  A,  Twenty-first ;  Thomas  Burnell,  Company 
G,  Thirtieth ;  James  McPreston,  Company  Gr,  Thirtieth ;  William  H.  H.  Day, 
Company  G,  Thirtieth  ;  William  H.  Wall,  Company  G,  Thirtieth  ;  Jacob  New- 
man, Company  H,  Forty-fourth;  Daniel  P.  Strecker,  Company  H,  Forty 
fourth;  Sebastian  Shoup,  Company  H,  Forty-fourth ;  Albert  D.  Fobes,  Com- 
pany G,  Eighty- eighth;  John  M.  Preston,  Company  G,  Eighty-eighth;  James 
W.-  Boyd,  Company  C,  One  Hundredth ;  Ichabod  S.  Jones,  Company  E,  One 
Hundredth ;  John  Q.  Reed,  Company  D,  One  Hundred  and  Nineteenth  ;  Lo- 
renzo Taylor,  Company  C,  Twelfth  Cavalry,  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-seventh 
Regiment ;  James  F.  Parsons,  same ;  Charles  0.  Higbee,  same ;  William  H. 
Atchinson,  Company  C,  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-ninth;  Charles  Collins,- 
Company  C,  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-ninth  ;  Plimpton  Hoagland,  Company 

C,  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-ninth  ;  James  H.  Beecher,  Company  H,  One 
Hundred  and  Twenty-ninth ;  Simon  Bowman,  Company  I,  One  Hundred  and 
Twenty-ninth;  Clark  A.  Bennett,  Company  F,  One  Hundred  and  Fifty- 
second  ;  Samuel  Shepardson,  Company  G,  Thirtieth ;  Martin  Whitmer,  Com- 
pany G,  Thirtieth. 

THE    ROLL    OF   HONOR. 

On  giving  this  list,  we  beg  our  readers  to  remember  that  it  is  compiled 
from  the  Adjutant  General's  Report  of  the  State,  and  includes  only  those 
reported  on  the  muster  rolls  as  having  been  killed  or  having  died  while  in  the 
service.  There  are  many  who  died  soon  after  discharge,  and  have  since  died  of 
disease  contracted  in  the  service,  who  would  worthily  be  entitled  to  place  in  the 
list,  but  there  is  no  official  record  of  these,  and  it  is  impossible  to  obtain  all 
their  names : 

James  Alward,  Thirtieth  Indiana,  died ;  Jacob  Airgood,  Seventy-fourth 
Indiana,  died  ;  Reuben  Allspaugh,  One  Hundredth  Indiana,  died. 

John  L.  Baugher,  Thirtieth  Indiana,  died  ;  John  A.  Bevington,  Twenty- 
first  Indiana,  killed  ;  John  Burridge,  Forty-fourth  Indiana,  died  of  wounds ; 


104  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

Isaac  Blough,  Forty-fourth  Indiana,  died ;  Eleazer  Blough,  Forty-fourth  Indiana, 
died  ;  Jehiel  B.  Barnes,  Eighty-eighth  Indiana,  killed  ;  Samuel  Booker,  Eighty- 
eighth  Indiana,  died  ;  James  H.  Bigelow,  Eighty-eighth  Indiana,  killed ;  Will- 
iam S.  Budd,  Eighty-eighth  Indiana,  missing  ;  John  J.  Blackson,  One  Hun- 
dredth Indiana,  died ;  Alfred  J.  Bennett,  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-ninth  In- 
diana, died ;  Melvin  W.  Baker,  Twelfth  Cavalry,  died ;  James  Bendure, 
Twelfth  Cavalry,  died;  Daniel  Gr.  Bickel,  Twelfth  Cavalry,  died;  James  W. 
Boyd,  Lieutenant,  One  Hundredth  Indiana,  died. 

Frederick  Cushway,  Thirteenth  Indiana,  died  ;  John  J.  Crist,  Forty-fourth 
Indiana,  died  of  wounds  ;  Jacob  Coldren,  Forty-fourth  Indiana,  died ;  Henry 
Craft,  Forty-fourth  Indiana,  died;  George  W.  Clark,  Forty-fourth  Indiana, 
died;  Ralph  P.  Clark,  Forty-fourth  Indiana,  died;  Jonathan  D.  Cummins, 
Eighty-eighth  Indiana,  missing  ;  Elisha  B.  Chapman,  Eighty-eighth  Indiana, 
died ;  George  M.  Clark,  One  Hundredth  Indiana,  died  ;  Cornelieus  Conkling, 
Forty-fourth  Indiana,  died ;  Richard  Cook,  Forty -fourth  Indiana,  died ;  Sol- 
omon H.  Chary.  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-ninth  Indiana,  died;  David  A. 
Cady,  Twenty-first  Indiana,  died  ;  Albert  Crawford,  Seventeenth  Indiana,  died  ; 
Josiah  Combes,  First  Illinois  Light  Artillery,  died ;  John  V.  Curtis,  Forty- 
fourth   Indiana,  killed. 

Bennis  Dyer,  Twenty-first  Indiana,  died;  George  W.  Dawson,  Thirtieth 
Indiana,  died  ;  Vincent  C.  Dyamon,  Forty-fourth  Indiana,  died  ;  Charles  Dick- 
enson, Eighty-eighth  Indiana,  died ;  Alvin  D.  Doolittle,  Eighty-eighth  Indi- 
ana, died ;  Erastus  Dallas,  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-ninth  Indiana,  died ; 
•  Lewis  Dwight,  Twelfth  Cavalry,  died. 

Henry  M.  Eagle,  Forty-fourth  Indiana,  died. 

Enoch  Fennell,  Thirtieth  Indiana,  died  ;  George  M.  Fish,  Forty-fourth  In- 
diana, died  ;  John  Freeman,  First  Illinois  Light  Artillery,  died  ;  Andrew  J. 
Farr,  Fourth  Michigan,  killed. 

John  J.  Gilson,  Thirtieth  Indiana,  died ;  Lyman  L,  Greenman,  Thirti- 
eth Indiana,  died ;  William  A.  Golden,  Forty-fourth  Indiana,  died ;  Delos 
Greenfield,  Eighty-eighth  Indiana,  killed ;  Franklin  Gillett,  One  Hundredth 
Indiana,  killed ;  Morrison  Gunn,  Jr.,  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-ninth,  Indi- 
ana, died ;  William  C.  Gill,  Twelfth  Cavalry,  died  ;  Elmore  Green,  Eighty- 
eighth  Indiana,  died ;  Augustus   A.   Galloway,   Forty-fourth   Indiana,   killed. 

Harvey  B.  Hall,  Twenty-first  Indiana,  died ;  Erastus  Hubbard,  Thirtieth 
Indiana,  died  ;  Franklin  Haskins,  Thirtieth  Indiana,  died  ;  Henry  C.  Ilickock, 
Thirtieth  Indiana,  killed ;  James  Hudson,  Company  G,  Thirtieth  Indiana, 
died;  Andrew  J.  Hart,  Forty-fourth  Indiana,  died ;  David  Harris,  Forty- 
fourth  Indiana,  died ;  Arthur  Hayward,  Forty-fourth  Indiana,  died ;  Elias 
Holsinger,  Forty-fourth  Indiana,  died ;  George  Holsinger,  Forty-fourth  Indi- 
ana, died;  W.  P.  Hodges,  Forty-fourth  Indiana,  died  of  wounds  ;  William  H. 
Hays,  Eighty-eighth  Indiana,  died ;  William  Hays,  Eighty-eighth  Indiana, 
died  ;  William  P.  Hunt,  One  Hundredth  Indiana,  died  ;  Henry  J.   Hall,  One 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  105 

Hundredth  Indiana,  died  of  wounds  ;  Samuel  Hiestand,  One  Hundredth  Indi- 
ana, died  ;  Elisha  Harding,  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-ninth  Indiana,  died  ; 
Thomas  Holmes,  One  Hundredth  and  Twenty-ninth  Indiana,  died ;  Noah 
Hively,  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-ninth  Indiana,  died ;  David  Haines,  One 
Hundred  and  Twenty-ninth  Indiana,  died  ;  Addison  Harley,  One  Hundred  and 
Twenty-ninth  Indiana,  died;  James  W.  Huss,  One  Hundred  and  Forty-second 
Indiana,  died ;  H.  J.  Hall,  One  Hundredth  Indiana,  died  of  wounds  ;  Wilkin- 
son C.  Hill,  Twelfth  Cavalry,  died  ;  Rollo  Hall,  Seventh  Cavalry,  died  ;  George 
W.  Haines,  Thirtieth  Indiana,  supposed  to  have  died  at  Andersonville  Prison  ; 
William  C  Hackenburg,  Thirtieth  Indiana,  killed ;  Erank  Hoagland,  Fourth 
Michigan,  died. 

Charles  Isely,  Thirtieth  Indiana,  died. 

George  Johnson,  One  Hundredth  Indiana,  died. 

Richard  Kannady,  Thirtieth  Indiana,  died  ;  Victor  Ketchum,  Forty-fourth 
Indiana,  died  of  wounds ;  James  H.  Kingsley,  One  Hundredth  Indiana,  died ; 
Samuel  A.  Kime,  Twelfth  Cavalry,  died  ;  Isaac  Knight,  Twenty-first  Indiana, 
killed ;  Richard  Kingdom,  Twelfth  Cavalry,  died. 

Arthur  F.  Lamson,  Seventh  Cavalry,  died;  Nelson  Leighton,  Eighty- 
eighth  Indiana,  died  ;  Robert  C.  Lazenby,  One  Hundredth  Indiana,  died  ; 
Peter  Legg,  One  Hundredth  Indiana,  died  ;  Hiram  Little,  One  Hundred  and 
Twenty-ninth  Indiana,  died  ;  William  Little,  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-ninth 
Indiana,  died ;  Robinson  Lane,  Fourth  Illinois  Light  Artillery,  died ;  Charles 
H.  Lawrence,  Thirtieth  Indiana,  died ;  Martin  Lattie,  Fourth  Michigan,  died  ; 
James  Longcor,  Forty-fourth  Indiana,  died. 

Levi  Miller,  Thirteenth  Indiana,  died  of  wounds ;  Robert  P.  McFarline, 
Thirtieth  Indiana,  died ;  Harrison  Merrils,  Thirtieth  Indiana,  died ;  Will- 
iam S.  Mason,  Thirtieth  Indiana,  died  ;  Jacob  Mishler,  Thirtieth  Indiana, 
killed ;  Joseph  Murray,  Forty-fourth  Indiana,  died ;  Eli  Mosier,  Forty- 
fourth  Indiana,  died ;  Martin  Letta,  Fourth  Michigan  Infantry,  died ; 
Joseph  A.  McKibben,  Eighty-eighth  Indiana,  died ;  Norman  Mills,  Eighty- 
eighth  Indiana,  died;  J.  H.  McNutt,  Eighty-eighth  Indiana,  died  of 
wounds ;  Sanford  W.  Myers,  One  Hundredth  Indiana,  died  of  wounds ; 
William  Miller,  One  Hundredth  Indiana,  died ;  Alanson  Mills,  Fourth 
Michigan,  died ;  Seth  W.  Murray,  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-ninth  Indi- 
ana, died ;  David  Murray.  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-ninth  Indiana,  died ; 
Robert  McMean,  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-ninth  Indiana,  died;  James 
Maybee,  killed ;  James  W.  Merrifield,  Thirtieth  Indiana,  died ;  Frank  Meek, 
First  Illinois  Light  Artillery,  died  ;  Thomas  McLane,  First  Michigan  Sharp 
Shooters,  died  at  Andersonville. 

David  Nelson,  Forty-fourth  Indiana,  died ;  Jones  Newman,  Thirty-fifth 
Indiana,  died  ;  Richard  Norton,  Thirtieth  Indiana,  died  of  wounds ;  Charles 
H.  Nichols,  Forty-fourth  Indiana,  died ;  Milton  Newman,  One  Hundred  and 
Twenty-ninth  Indiana,  died  ;   Charles  H.  Nichols,  First  Michigan  Sharp  Shoot- 


106  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

ers,  died ;  J.  A.  F.  Nichols,  regiment  unknown,  died  ;  Ira  V.  Nichols,  regiment 
unknown,  died. 

Leander  Powell,  Thirteenth  Indiana,  killed ;  William  A.  Potter,  Thirty- 
fifth  Indiana,  died  ;  Willis  Pence,  Thirtieth  Indiana,  killed  ;  Israel  Pray,  Thir- 
tieth Indiana,  died ;  Hiram  S.  Perkins,  Forty-fourth  Indiana,  died ;  Orwin 
Page,  Forty-fourth  Indiana,  killed ;  Albert  D.  Plaisted,  Eighty-eighth  Indi- 
ana, ^.itu^  John  El*  Powell,  One  Hundredth  Indiana,  died;  Henry  Plumb, 
One  Hundreth  Indiana,  died  ;  Joseph  Plank,  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-ninth 
Indiana,  killed  ;  Lester  Powers,  One  Hundred  and  Fifty-second  Indiana,  died ; 
Lafayette  Parks,  Forty-fourth  Indiana,  died;  Maj.  Eobert  Parrett,  One  Hun- 
dreth Indiana,  killed  ;  Willis  Pence,  Thirtieth  Indiana,  killed. 

Leonard  Roy,  Twenty-first  Indiana,  died ;  Thomas  J.  Rambo,  Thirtieth 
Indiana,  killed  ;  William  Routson,  Forty-fourth  Indiana,  died  at  Andersonville 
Prison ;  Robert  F.  Ramsey,  Eighty-eighth  Indiana,  died ;  William  Rufi",  One 
Hundredth  Indiana,  died  ;  Joel  W.  Royce,  One  Hundredth  Indiana,  died ; 
Amos  Reed,  One  Hundredth  Indiana,  died ;  Horton  R.  Ryan,  One  Hundred 
and  Twenty-ninth  Indiana,  died  ;  Edward  Ream,  One  Hundred  and  Twenty- 
ninth  Indiana,  died ;  Dr.  Delos  W.  Rupert,  Thirtieth  Indiana,  died ;  Henry 
Khoads,  Eighth  Cavalry,  killed ;  George  Rhoads,  Eighth  Cavalry,  died. 

Emery  P.  Sabins,  Eighty-eighth  Indiana,  died ;  Oliver  Shelly,  Eighty-eighth 
Indiana,  died ;  William  J.  Shipley,  Eighty-eighth  Indiana,  died ;  George  K. 
Sisson,  Eighty-eighth  Indiana,  died ;  John  Showman,  Eighty-eighth  Indi- 
ana, died;  James  R.  Stevenson,  Eighty-eighth  Indiana,  died;  William  Sharp, 
One  Hundredth  Indiana,  killed ;  Halbert  Starr,  One  Hundredth  Indi- 
ana, died ;  Charles  Sharp,  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-ninth  Indiana,  died  ; 
James  Sharp,  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-ninth  Indiana,  died;  George  W. 
Schermerhorn,  Forty-fourth  Indiana,  died ;  Dr.  Edward  B.  Speed,  Forty- 
fourth  Indiana,  died ;  Adam  Swartsweller,  Thirtieth  Indiana,  died ;  Josiah 
Snyder,  Eighty-eighth  "Indiana,  killed ;  David  Starner,  Thirtieth  Indiana, 
died ;  Andrew  H.  Stem,  Thirteenth  Indiana,  killed ;  Squire  A.  Storey, 
Seventh  Cavalry,  killed;  David  Seybert,  First  Michigan  Sharp  Shooters, 
died  ;  William  Stevenson,  Seventy-eighth  New  York,  killed  ;  Frank  Spellman, 
Fourth  Michigan,  killed  ;  Henry  Sharp,  Fourth  Michigan,  killed. 

James  H,  Tincher,  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-ninth  Indiana,  died ;  Charles 
Tyler,  One  Plundred  and  Twenty-ninth  Indiana,  died  of  wounds ;  Marcus  B. 
Tarner,  One  Hundred  and  Fifty-second  Indiana,  died ;  George  Trittapoo, 
Thirtieth  Indiana,  died. 

James  B.  F.  Utley,  Thirtieth  Indiana,  killed. 

Rufus  Whitney,  Eighty-eighth  Indiana,  died ;  Henry  Wolford,  Thirtieth 
Indiana,  died ;  Abraham  Wright,  Thirtieth  Indiana,  died  of  wounds ;  James 
C.  West,  Thirtieth  Indiana,  died;  William  W.  Wilson,  Thirtieth  Indiana,  died: 
Benjamin  Woolheter,  Thirtieth  Indiana,  died ;  Eli  Wheeler,  Thirtieth  Indiana, 
killed;  Jerome  Wright,  Forty-fourth  Indiana,  killed;  George  S.  Wicson,  One 


^g,^^ 


MILFORD  TP. 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY.  109 

Hundredth  Indiana,  died  ;  Edward  Whitney,  One  Hundredth  Indiana,  killed  ; 
Aaron  Wolford,  One  Hundredth  Indiana,  killed;  David  Woodruff,  One  Hun- 
dredth Indiana,  died  ;  Samuel  Weaver,  One  Hundredth  Indiana,  died ;  John 
Weaver,  died ;  George  W.  Williams,  One  Hundred  and  Twenty-ninth  Indiana, 
died ;   Hiram  Wabill,  One  Hundred  and  Fifty-second  Indiana,  died. 

Died  soon  after  discharge,  from  disease  contracted  in  the  service  :  Capt.  J. 
H.  Danseur,  Company  H,  Forty-fourth  Indiana  ;  William  D.  Groves,  Com- 
pany H,  Forty-fourth  Indiana ;  John  M.  Stoner,  Forty-fourth  Indiana. 

A  large  number  more  have  died  since  discharge,  of  diseases  contracted  in 
the  service,  but  there  is  no  record  from  which  to  ascertain  their  names. 

The  following  exhibit  shows  the  amounts  expended  by  La  Grange  County, 
and  by  the  several  townships  for  bounty  to  soldiers  enlisting,  and  for  the  relief 
of  their  families  : 

BOUNTY.  RELIEF. 

By  the  County |42,000        $39,061  70 

Eleven  townships  each  furnishing  the  same  amount 121,000  11,000  00 

Total $163,000        $50,061  70 

Grand  Total $213,061  70 

The  enrollment  of  the  militia  of  the  State  on  the  19th  of  October,  1862, 
made  the  following  showing  in  respect  to  La  Grange  County:  Total  militia, 
2,047;  volunteers  before  that  date,  750;  exempts,  420;  conscientiously  op- 
posed to  bearing  arms,  91 ;  total  volunteers  in  the  service,  653 ;  total  then  sub- 
ject to  draft,  1,536.  Adding  the  volunteers  then  in  the  service  to  the  total 
militia,  shows  the  whole  militia  of  the  county  at  the  opening  of  the  war  to  have 
been  about  2,700,  On  the  20th  of  September,  1862,  there  was  a  deficiency  of 
46,  for  which  a  draft  was  ordered. 

The  quotas  and  credits  of  the  county  under  the  calls  of  the  President 
February  1,  March  14,  and  July  18,  1864,  were  as  follows:  Enrollment,  1,899 ; 
quotas  and  deficiency,  713.  Credits — By  new  recruits,  552;  veterans,  72; 
draft,  15 ;  deficiency,  74.     A  draft  was  ordered  for  the  deficiency. 

The  quotas  and  credits  of  the  county  under  call  of  December  19,  1864 : 
The  enrollment  of  the  county  showed,  1,436;  quota,  191.  Credit:  By  new 
recruits,  97;  draft,  86;  total,  183;  deficiency,  8. 

These  enrollments  show  that  the  county  furnished  1,475  men  for  the  war 
of  the  rebellion.  There  were,  beside  these,  probably  100  men  who  went  into 
the  service  from  the  county  who  were  never  credited  to  the  county,  being  cred- 
ited to  other  counties,  as  were  some  twenty  in  the  Seventeenth  Indiana  Volun- 
teers, while  a  number  went  to  Michigan  and  other  States  to  enlist  and  were 
credited  to  them.  There  were,  though,  a  number  of  men  who  enlisted  twice. 
All  the  veterans  were  twice  credited  to  the  county.  Estimating  the  double 
enlistments  at  200  men,  would  leave  1,375  different  men  who  rendered  military 
service  from  this  county.  The  annual  return  of  the  militia  of  the  State  in 
1866  by  the  Adjutant  General  to  the  President,  in  accordance  with  an  act  of 

F 


110  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

Congress,  gave  the  county  the  credit  for  3,030  militia,  considerably  more  than 
at  the  opening  of  the  war,  if  both  enrollments  were  correct. 

SOLDIERS    OF   THE    REVOLUTION,    OF   THE   WAR   OF   1812,    AND    OF   THE 
MEXICAN   WAR. 

"  Through  the  kindness  of  Hon.  John  B.  Howe,  we  gather  the  following 
information  in  respect  to  the  soldiers  of  the  Revolution  and  of  the  war  of  1812 
who  settled  in  the  county,  and  of  volunteers  from  the  county  to  the  war  with 
Mexico.  The  Revolutionary  soldiers  who  settled  in  the  county  were  among  its 
first  settlers  and  were  Micajah  Harding,  Nathan  Fowler, Place,  Abra- 
ham Cole,Waitsell  Dickenson,  all  of  whom  settled  in  the  vicinity  of  where  Lima 
now  is.  David  Cowan,  who  settled  in  the  Burr  Oak  settlement,  now  Van  Buren 
Township;  Morgan  Young,  who  settled  on  Pretty  Prairie,  in  Greenfield  Town- 
ship. He  was  a  man  of  remarkable  physical  vigor,  and  at  the  age  of  ninety 
years  followed  the  hounds.  William  McNeil  is  also  believed  to  have  been  a 
Revolutionary  soldier.  There  were  also  a  Frenchman  and  a  German  in  the 
poor-house  in  1845  who  claimed  to  have  been  in  that  war.  The  Frenchman 
loved  to  speak  of  his  service,  but  the  German  was  very  reticent,  which  was 
accounted  for  on  the  supposition  that  he  was  then  on  the  wrong  side.  The 
Frenchman  was  anxious  to  return  to  France,  and  finally  received  aid  and  returned 
to  his  native  land. 

Of  the  war  of  1812,  the  following  names  are  remembered:  Jesse  Hunts- 
man (Greenfield  township),  Daniel  Harding,  Noah  Austin,  David  Smith,  John 

Kelly, Palmer,  John   Perry,   Zimri  Atwater,  James  Kinney,  Sylvan  us 

Halsey.  Daniel  Harding  was  at  the  taking  of  Fort  Erie.  Noah  Austin  was 
shot  and  severely  wounded  by  an  ounce  ball,  while  crossing  over  the  river  to 
the  battle  of  Lundy's  Lane.  The  ball  lodged  behind  his  ear  and  he  carried  it 
to  the  day  of  his  death,  when,  to  the  great  astonishment  of  all,  the  ball  dropped 
oUt  just  before  he  expired.  John  Kelly  served  under  Gen.  W.  H.  Harrison. 
Palmer  was  a  blacksmith  in  Lima,  and  always  claimed  that  he  killed  Tecumseh, 
and  that  Col.  Richard  M.  Johnson  had  nothing  to  do  with  it.  James  Kinney 
was  in  the  battle  of  Plattsburg. 

The  war  with  Mexico  did  not,  at  the  time,  meet  with  much  popular  favor 
in  the  county,  but  it  was  not  without  representation.  Frank  Flanders,  Sylves- 
ter Haliday  and  an  Irishman,  whose  name  is  not  recollected,  went  from  Lima 
and  enlisted  in  Capt.  Tollis'  company,  which  rendezvoused  at  Freedom,  St. 
Joseph  Co.,  Mich.,  and  which  was  afterward  mustered  into  the  Fifteenth  United 
States  Infantry.  Flanders  became  Drum  Major  in  this  regiment  and  was  noted 
as  a  bugler.  The  Irishman  was  said  to  have  been  the  first  or  one  of  the  first  to 
enter  Fort  Chapultepec  and  to  have  assaulted  Gen.  Bravo  with  his  musket, 
because  he  made  a  show  of  resistance.  Israel  Lantz,  Lorenzo  Ingraham  and 
John  Davenport  are  also  mentioned  as  having  gone  to  the  Mexican  war  from 
the  county. 


C  HAP  T  E  R    T. 

by  john  paul  jones. 

Town  of  La  Grange  — First  Plat  — Early  Residents— The  County  Seat 
Question— Appearance  of  the  Village  Thirty-eight  Years  Ago  — 
Former  Mercantile  Establishments  — Gradual  Growth  and  Develop- 
ment— IndUvSTrial  Enterprises— Secret  Societies— Present  Business 
Occupations  — Outline  Sketch  of  Religious  and  Educational  Interests 
—  Cemetery. 

THE  location  of  the  town  of  La  Grange,  in  the  geographical  center  of  the 
county,  would  seem  to  indicate  that  its  projectors  were  men  of  shrewd  fore, 
thought,  who  had  in  view  the  possibility  of  its  becoming,  at  no  distant  day,  the 
most  eligible  point  for  the  location  of  the  county  seat,  as  in  the  early  days  of 
the  county  the  strife  and  efforts  put  forth  by  the  citizens  of  different  localities 
to  secure  that  coveted  prize  and  distinction,  were  not  unlike  the  record  in  that 
respect  of  most  other  counties.  The  tract  of  land  comprising  the  original  town 
site  was  purchased  of  the  United  States  by  entry,  at  the  Government  Land 
OflSce,  in  Fort  Wayne,  in  the  year  1835,  by  George  F.  Whittaker  and  Theodore 
Craft.  Joshua  T.  Hobbs  subsequently  purchased  an  interest,  and  thus  became 
one  of  the  proprietors  of  the  town  site.  It  is  situated  in  the  south  half  of 
Section  19,  and  was  platted  on  the  18th  day  of  June,  1836,  by  Reuben 
J.  Dawson,  William  F.  Beavers,  George  F.  Whittaker  and  James  McConnell, 
none  of  whom  are  now  living.  Mr.  Dawson  resided  in  De  Kalb  County,  Ind., 
and  represented  his  county  and  that  of  Steuben  in  the  State  Senate  in  1850, 
and  was  afterward  Judge  of  the  Tenth  Judicial  Circuit.  He  took  an  active 
and  prominent  part  in  politics,  and  was  a  Presidential  Elector  on  the  Democratic 
ticket  in  1856.  Mr.  Whittaker  was  a  merchant  at  Lima.  Mr.  Beavers  resided 
in  the  southern  part  of  the  county,  and  was  for  several  years  County  Surveyor. 
James  McConnell,  the  last  survivor  of  these  original  proprietors,  died  at  Albion 
in  1881.  He  was  a  resident  of  Eden  Township,  and  was,  at  an  early  day,  one 
of  the  County  Commissioners.  The  original  town  was  laid  off  into  lots  66x132 
feet,  with  a  public  square,  132x280J  feet,  streets  66  feet  in  width,  and  alleys  16§ 
feet  wide,  crossing  each  other  at  right  angles ;  the  names  of  the  streets  being 
Mountain,  High,  Detroit,  Poplar,  Walnut,  Sycamore  and  Canal,  running  north 
and  south;  Lake,  Steuben,  Factory,  Michigan,  Spring,  Lafayette  and  Wayne,  run- 
ning east  and  west.  Detroit  became  the  principal  business  street,  and  still 
retains  that  prestige.  The  original  proprietors  donated  several  lots  to  the 
county,  the  present  site  of  the  court  house  being  a  portion  of  the  gift,  which 
was  originally  the  public  square.     The  terms  of  the  grant  were  as  follows : 


112  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

"  The  public  grounds  designed  for  and  donated  to  the  county  from  the  time  of 
the  commencement  of  the  use  of  the  same  for  the  purposes  of  holding  courts 
and  the  transaction  of  other  judicial  business  thereon,  and  to  continue  the 
property  of  said  county  of  La  Grange  as  long  as  the  same  shall  be  occupied  as 
aforesaid,  after  which  it  shall  revert  to  the  original  proprietors. 

"  The  proprietors  hereby  reserve  to  themselves  the  right  to  divert  the 
the  stream  of  water  which  passes  through  the  town,  to  any  place  not  to  exceed 
one-fourth  of  a  mile  from  its  natural  channel,  for  the  use  of  mills  and  other 
machinery." 

The  town  site  was  covered  with  heavy  forest  trees  and  a  thick  under- 
growth of  prickly  ash,  interspersed  with  briers  and  shrubbery.  The  ground 
was  burned  over  the  first  year,  which  was  the  means  of  destroying  the  under- 
growth ;  the  large  timber  was  cut  down  and  the  inhabitants  of  the  new  town  would 
generally  engage  in  the  work  of  clearing  and  burning'the  brush,  old  and  young 
joining  in  the  work  at  convenient  spells,  some  in  one  part  and  some  in  another, 
and  often  continuing  until  midnight.  This  afforded  amusement  and  recreation, 
instead  of  croquet  and  such  other  fashionable  diversions  of  the  present  day. 
Shadrack  Carney,  now  a  resident  of  Clay  Township,  claims  to  have  felled  the 
first  tree  in  preparing  to  clear  off"  the  public  square.  That  work  was  done  by 
contract  with  the  Commissioners,  who  unfortunately  required  all  the  trees  to  be 
cut  down,  thereby  depriving  the  public  of  the  benefit  of  the  fine  shade  which 
this  primeval  forest  would  have  rendered.  A  portion  of  the  public  square  and 
grounds  extending  to  the  south  and  east  for  some  considerable  distance  was  wet 
and  swampy.  A  stranger,  to  travel  over  the  solid  ground  that  now  exists  instead 
of  the  mire,  could  hardly  realize  that  such  could  ever  have  been  the  condition. 
Removing  the  primitive  growth  and  filling  with  other  soil  has  wrought  the 
change. 

Isaac  P.  Grannis  and  Thomas  Clark  built  the  first  two  dwelling  houses  ; 
they  were  constructed  of  logs,  one  of  which  was  used  as  a  boarding-house  for 
the  accommodation  of  Mr.  Grannis,  who  was  one  of  the  sub-contractors  and 
workmen  on  the  court  house.  The  other  was  occupied  by  the  Clark  family, 
who  were  of  a  migratory  disposition,  fond  of  hunting  and  fishing,  and  who, 
after  a  few  years,  removed  to  the  Far  West,  Avhere  they  expected  to  find  game 
more  plentiful.  The  first  frame  building  was  a  storehouse  erected  by  William 
Wigton,  on  the  northeast  corner  of  Detroit  and  Spring  streets,  opposite  the 
southeast  corner  of  the  court  house  square.  This  structure  served  as  a  general 
resort  for  nearly  two  years.  It  was  occupied  by  C.  B.  Holmes,  who  kept  a 
general  store,  consisting  of  dry  goods,  groceries,  hardware,  and  an  assortment 
of  such  goods  as  was  in  demand  in  those  early  times.  Here,  also,  was  the 
post  office,  which  Mr.  Holmes  was  instrumental  in  causing  to  be  established, 
and  who  officiated  as  the  first  Postmaster.  Some  idea  of  the  magnitude  of  the 
business  transacted  in  handling  the  mails  at  this  office  for  the  first  quarter  may 
be  formed  through  the  receipts  for  that  period,  which  amounted  to  the  munifi- 


i 


TOWN  OF  LA  GRANGE.  113 

cent  sum  of  $1.08,  quite  in  contrast  with  the  receipts  for  the  quarter  ending 
September  30,  1881,  which  showed  an  aggregate  of  $644.42.  Mr.  Holmes 
seems  to  have  been  almost  indispensable  to  the  community,  for  about  this  time 
he  was  elected  to  the  office  of  Justice  of  the  Peace  for  Bloomfield  Township. 
At  the  period  of  the  commencement  of  the  growth  of  the  town,  the  country 
was  but  little  else  than  a  vast  wilderness,  though  settlements  had  been  formed 
to  some  extent  in  various  localities  in  the  surrounding  country,  and  additions 
were  constantly  being  made.  Yet  the  farms  that  had  been  cleared  for  cultiva- 
tion were  but  mere  openings  in  the  vast  sea  of  forest  trees  that  covered  the 
surrounding  territory,  and  game  of  a  great  variety  was  to  be  found  in  the 
immediate  vicinity.  So  plentiful  were  deer,  that  it  is  related  that  Ans  Clark, 
who  prided  himself  upon  his  expertness  with  the  rifle,  killed,  in  one  day, 
seven  of  these  animals,  and  so  close  to  the  town  that  every  shot  could  have 
been  heard  at  the  public  square.  But  a  change  was  to  come  over  the  place  in 
the  new  order  of  things. 

The  contract  for  building  the  new  court  house  had  been  let  by  the  Board 
of  Commissioners  to  Francis  F.  Jewett,  of  Lima,  and  work  was  formally  begun 
on  its  erection  in  1842.  The  building  was  to  be  a  two-story  frame,  with  a 
court  room,  jury  rooms,  and  rooms  for  the  several  county  officers.  Mr.  Jewett 
pushed  the  work  with  vigor,  and  completed  it  December  5,  1843 ;  the  cost  was 
$8,000,  and  the  structure  was  considered  a  fine  one  for  those  primitive  times. 
As  was  the  case  elsewhere  in  the  county,  the  pioneer  suffered  greatly  from 
chills  and  fever,  and  as  quinine  was  a  scarce  article,  they  had  to  resort  to  such 
means  for  relief  as  could  be  obtained  from  barks  and  herbs,  the  natural  prod- 
ucts of  the  soil. 

Following  the  erection  of  the  first  two  log  houses,  came  other  settlers  t 
locate  in  the  new  town  and  build  likewise,  though  the  growth  was  slow  for  a 
period.  The  first  two  frame  dwelling  houses  were  built  by  Peter  H.  Fox  and 
George  Hopkins.  The  first  one  continued  in  existence  until  about  two  years 
ago,  when  it  was  torn  down  to  give  place  to  the  commodious  and  elegant  struct- 
ure, now  the  residence  of  Thomas  H.  Sefton.  The  other  formed  a  part  of  the 
residence  of  M.  L.  Punches,  and  was  destroyed  by  fire.  Mr.  Hopkins  was  a 
carpenter  and  joiner  by  trade,  and  came  from  Medina  County,  Ohio,  in  1843. 
He  sold  this  property  after  two  years  to  Solomon  Shattuck,  who  was  the  first 
village  blacksmith.  Robert  McClasky  and  family  came  from  Ohio  in  1843. 
He  was  the  first  boot  and  shoemaker,  and  built  the  third  log  house  on  the  lot 
now  owned  by  George  P.  Robinson,  and  on  which  is  situated  his  fine  brick  res- 
idence. A  few  other  small  dwellings  were  erected  during  this  season.  The 
locating  of  the  county  seat  here  and  the  completion  of  the  new  court  house, 
fixed  the  destiny  of  the  embryo  town.  In  1844,  the  county  officers  having 
been  removed  from  Lima,  and  the  courts  holding  their  sessions  here,  gave  an 
impetus  to  the  village  and  caused  it  to  improve  rapidly.  Simon  M.  Cutler,  who 
had  been  elected  County  Auditor,  built  the  house  now  owned  by  Mrs.  Will, 


114  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

opposite  the  Methodist  Church.  Samuel  A.  Bartlett,  County  Treasurer,  put 
up  the  house  on  the  next  lot  north,  now  owned  by  Jacob  M.  Church.  John 
Kromer  and  Andrew  Ellison  built  the  houses  which  were  recently  removed  for 
the  purpose  of  enlarging  the  court  house  square.  They  occupied  a  strip  of 
ground  west  of  the  court  house,  with  a  narrow  street  or  lane  running  between 
the  two.  The  county  purchased  this  property,  vacated  the  street,  and  inclosed 
the  land  with  the  court  house  grounds,  thereby  increasing  the  width  to  280|^ 
feet,  corresponding  to  the  width  north  and  south,  and  thus  separating  it  from 
any  contiguous  property,  and  lending  symmetry  and  beauty  to  the  whole  sur- 
rounding. C.  B.  Holmes  built  a  residence  on  Detroit  street.  Peter  L.  Mason 
put  up  a  double  log  house  on  the  lot  now  occupied  by  the  Presbyterian  Church. 
The  south  part  of  the  American  House,  which  was  the  first  hotel  building  in  the 
place,  was  put  up  this  year  by  Frederick  Hamilton,  who  became  the  first  "  mine 
host"  to  cater  to  the  comfort  of  the  traveling  public ;  at  the  same  time  being 
Sherifi",  he  performed  a  double  duty,  that  of  looking  after  the  security  of  the 
unruly  guests  of  the  county.  This  building  occupied  the  northeast  corner  of 
Detroit  and  Michigan  streets,  now  the  vacant  corner  lot  to  the  northeast  of  the 
court  house  square.  The  American  House  was  destroyed  by  fire  in  1874.  The 
once  famous  Boyd  House,  built  by  William  S.  Boyd,  and  used  as  a  hotel  and 
for  stores  and  dwellings,  for  a  number  of  years,  was  situated  opposite  the  court 
house,  to  the  east,  on  Detroit  street.  This  was,  in  its  day,  by  common  selec- 
tion, the  headquarters  of  the  gathering  hosts  during  court  sessions,  and  for  the 
politicians  and  other  "wire-pullers"  of  the  early  times.  Many  were  the 
schemes  concocted  and  matured  there  for  the  political  and  financial  aggrandize- 
ment of  those  who  were  ever  on  the  alert  for  personal  preferment.  It  was 
finally  partly  destroyed  by  fire,  and  the  ruins  removed  to  give  place  to  the  fine 
brick  structure  erected  by  Abijah  Brown  and  his  three  sons,  Ira,  Jacob  S.  and 
Adrian  D.,  for  hotel  purposes.  The  building  was  four  stories  high,  including 
basement.  This,  in  its  time,  was  one  of  the  best  hotels  in  Northern  Indiana, 
and  had  a  wide  reputation  as  such.  This,  too,  was  destroyed  by  fire  in  Janu- 
ary, 1877,  the  grounds  of  which  are  now  occupied  by  the  brick  buildings  owned 
by  Brown  Bros.,  Rose  &  Williams,  and  Jacob  Newman.  Messrs.  Bingham  & 
Newman,  and  Hubbard  &  Ruick,  built  the  frame  business  houses  now  owned  by 
John  Will,  and  occupied  by  Will  &  Clugston  as  a  dry  goods  store,  F.  M.  Ved- 
der,  grocer,  and  others,  on  Detroit  street.  In  1870,  the  Devor  brick  block  was 
erected,  and  the  Rice  building  in  1871.  The  new  jail,  a  superb  structure,  built 
of  brick,  and  inclosed  by  a  substantial  iron  fence,  was  put  up  in  1872,  at  a  cost 
of  $28,000,  and  serves  its  purpose  quite  satisfactorily,  though,  like  all  places 
for  the  security  of  prisoners,  there  have  been  occasions  when  it  has  proved  inse- 
cure, notably  in  the  escape,  just  previous  to  this  writing,  of  one  Miles,  who  was 
confined  for  bigamy,  but  was  recaptured  and  received  his  just  deserts  by  a  sen- 
tence of  three  years  in  the  penitentiary.  Drs.  John  A.  Butler,  John  Brown, 
and  Isaac  Parry  were  the  first  physicians  having  oflfices  or  residing  in  the  town ; 


TOWN  OF  LA  GRANGE.  115 

these  have  all  passed  away.  Dr.  Parry  went  to  California  in  1850,  where  he 
died  1880,  and  Dr.  Brown  at  his  home,  on  the  Haw  Patch,  several  years  ago. 
C.  B.  Holmes  has  been  mentioned  as  inauc!;urating  the  mercantile  business 
here  by  establishing  a  general  store.  The  second  enterprise  of  merchandising 
in  the  town  was  established  in  1843,  by  Harmon  B.  McCoy  and  William  S. 
Boyd,  in  the  Boyd  Building.  Mr.  McCoy  was  married  in  the  fall  of  1845  to 
Miss  Eliza  Price,  and  with  his  bride  went  to  Ohio,  whence  he  had  originally 
come.  They  returned  in  the  following  spring,  when  he,  in  partnership  with 
James  B.  Caldwell,  started  a  tannery,  and  commenced  the  manufacture  of  leath- 
er in  connection  with  harness-making.  Samuel  H.  Boyd  came  in  1843,  and 
started  a  tannery  in  the  east  part  of  town  near  the  creek ;  this  was  the  first  in- 
stitution of  the  kind  put  in  operation  in  La  Grange.  The  tannery  of  McCoy 
&  Caldwell  changed  hands  several  times,  and  finally,  in  about  the  year  1858, 
the  business  was  discontinued,  and  the  lots  were  sold  to  the  Grand  Rapids  & 
Indiana  Railroad  Company.  This  line  of  business  has  entirely  died  out,  there 
being  no  tanneries  now  in  existence  here.  McCoy  was  subsequently  engaged 
in  the  manufacture  of  shingles  at  the  Boyd  Saw-Mill  on  Fly  Creek,  at  the 
northeast  of  town,  where  he  met  a  horrible  death  by  accidentally  coming  in 
contact  with  the  saw.  This  saw-mill  was  built  by  Delavan  Martin,  in  1844, 
and  was  the  first  put  in  operation  ;  it  was  fitted  up  with  one  of  the  old  fash- 
ioned upright  saws,  driven  by  water-power,  with  an  old  style  water-wheel. 
The  same  water-power  was  also  utilized  to  drive  the  first  grist-mill,  built  by 
William  S.  Boyd  and  John  Starr,  in  the  year  1857.  This  mill  was  a  great 
convenience  to  the  community  and  surrounding  country.  It  was  a  two-story 
frame  building,  with  sufficient  capacity  to  meet  the  wants  of  the  people.  It 
was  destroyed  by  fire  in  1873,  being  then  owned  by  the  Kerr  Brothers.  The 
fine  steam  flouring-mill  now  owned  by  Hudson  &  Peck  was  erected  by  William 
Hudson  and  Samuel  K.  Ruick  in  1874,  also  a  saw-mill  adjoining.  The  grist- 
mill has  two  run  of  stone,  and  the  capacity  of  turning  out  fifty  barrels  of  flour 
per  day.  The  first  regular  drug  store  was  started  by  Rensselaer  Rheubottom  in 
1852,  in  a  small  frame  building  near  the  Boyd  Block.  Drs.  John  H.  Rerick 
and  Howard  M.  Betts  were  the  second  to  embark  in  that  business;  this  was  in 
1860,  in  the  building  then  owned  by  Dr.  John  A.  Butler,  just  north  of  the 
American  House.  They  soon  after  removed  to  the  building  on  the  northwest 
corner  of  Detroit  and  Michigan  streets.  Dr.  Rerick  sold  out  his  interest  to  Dr. 
Betts  in  1861,  and  entered  the  service  of  the  United  States  as  Assistant  Sur- 
geon of  the  Forty-fourth  Regiment  Indiana  Volunteer  Infantry.  Dr.  Betts 
still  continues  the  business  at  the  old  stand,  the  entire  building  being  now 
owned  by  him,  and  occupied  in  part  by  the  Central  Hotel.  This  building  was 
built  by  John  Will  in  1855,  and  occupied  by  him  in  the  mercantile  trade.  The 
first  tinware  and  stove  establishment  was  started  by  Perry  S.  Hemminger,  in 
1855.  He  built  the  frame  building  on  tlie  site  of  the  Devor  Block  in  1857. 
The  business  was  afterward  conducted  by  Hemminger  and  J.  W.  Rheubottom. 


116  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

J.  P.  Jones  purchased  Hemminger's  interest  in  the  concern  in  1857,  and,  in 
company  with  Eheubottom,  added  a  general  stock  of  iron,  nails  and  shelf  hard- 
ware, which  was  the  first  store  of  the  kind  in  the  village.  C.  B.  Holmes  was 
the  pioneer  in  the  family  grocery  business.  Andrew  Emminger  came  in  1844, 
and  inaugurated  the  industry  in  the  manufacture  of  chairs.  Not  until  as  late 
as  1872  was  there  a  regularly  organized  banking  institution  in  the  place.  In 
that  year  the  La  Grange  County  Bank  was  started,  the  proprietors  being  Ralph 
P.  Herbert,  R.  S.  Hubbard  and  Henry  M.  Herbert.  In  the  following  year, 
Andrew  Ellison  commenced  the  banking  business  ;  this  he  still  conducts  in  con- 
nection with  his  son  Rollin.  In  1874,  the  La  Grange  Bank  was  started  by 
Thomas  J.  Spaulding,  of  Lima  Township,  and  R.  S.  Hubbard.  They  occu- 
pied the  Devor  Building.  In  September  of  the  same  year,  the  First  National 
Bank  was  organized,  with  a  capital  of  $50,000,  by  many  of  the  same  parties 
interested  in  the  La  Grange  County  and  La  Grange  Bank,  these  two  banks 
merging  their  interests  into  that  of  the  First  National,  and  discontinuing  busi- 
ness. John  S.  Merritt  became  the  first  President,  and  R.  S.  Hubbard  the  first 
cashier  of  the  new  institution.  It  occupies  an  eligible  business  location 
opposite  the  court  house  in  the  brick  building  owned  by  Messrs.  Rose  &  Will- 
iams. Its  present  ofiicers  are  Solomon  Rose,  President ;  J.  S.  Merritt,  Vice 
President,  and  H.  M.  Herbert,  Cashier. 

There  are  two  public  halls  in  the  town,  Ellison's,  and  one  known  as 
Brown's,  the  latter  owned  by  Brown  Bros.,  and  situated  in  the  second  story  of 
the  brick  block  on  the  southeast  corner  of  Detroit  and  Michigan  streets,  oppo- 
site the  court  house.  It  is  devoted  to  theatrical  and  other  entertainments  and 
to  other  uses. 

There  are  several  secret  societies  in  La  Grange,  representing  many  of  the 
various  orders  found  throughout  the  country ;  the  purposes  of  which  are  gener- 
ally for  the  moral,  social  and  mental  culture  of  its  members.  The  "Meridian 
Sun  Lodge  of  Masons"  was  instituted  at  Lima  June  1,  1849,  and  three  or 
four  years  later  its  place  of  meeting  was  transferred  to  this  town,  where  it 
became  essentially  a  La  Grange  society.  It  had  for  its  first  officers  William 
Martin,  Worshipful  Master;  John  Brisco,  Senior  Warden,  and  A.  C.  Vanor- 
man.  Junior  Warden.  The  I.  0.  0.  F.  Lodge  was  organized  in  June,  1856 ; 
its  first  officers  were  William  Rheubottom,  Noble  Grand  ;  John  F.  Clugston, 
Vice  Grand;  John  Q.  Reed,  Scribe;  John  Will,  Treasurer;  and  R.  S.  Hub- 
bard, Warden,  all  of  whom  are  living  here,  except  Mr.  Reed,  who  is  in  St. 
Louis,  Mo.  The  Hutchinson  Lodge  of  Good  Templars  was  organized  in  1866. 
It  is  a  thrifty  society,  and  makes  its  influence  felt  in  the  interests  of  temper- 
ance. Their  place  of  meeting  is  in  Will  &  Clugston's  building.  The  Davis 
Lodge  of  Good  Templars  was  organized  in  1878.  They  have  a  membership  of 
about  forty,  with  lodge  room  in  Wigton  and  Eyler's  block,  and  are  in  a  vigorous 
condition,  with  a  good  record  in  the  cause  in  which  they  are  enlisted. 

[In  the  month  of  January,  1867,  a  number  of  young  men  of  La  Grange, 


^:^^^^i:^<^C^^   ^^^o^T-T^T^^^^-^^ 


LA  GRAN  BE 


TOWN  OF  LA  GRANGE.  119 

having  in  view  a  general  intellectual  and  moral  culture,  organized  an  Addisonian 
Debating  Society  in  the  town.  The  charter  members  were  James  S.  Drake, 
Lieut.  Samuel  A.  Cherry,  U.  S.  A.,  Robert  Wigton,  M.  R.  McClaskey,  Seymour 
Brisco,  Lewis  Wertsbaugher,  J.  P.  Duck,  Thomas  Ellison,  J.  A.  McClaskey,  C. 
Y.  Roop,  and  Deloyn  Carson.  The  following  officers  were  elected  :  S.  A.  Cherry, 
President ;  J.  A.  McClaskey,  Vice-President ;  J.  S.  Drake,  Secretary  ;  Thomas 
Ellison,  Treasurer.  The  present  membership  is  about  forty.  Young  men, 
between  the  ages  of  eighteen  and  thirty,  and  of  good  moral  character,  may 
become  members. 

On  the  21st  of  February,  1879,  W.  M.  Obermyer,  D.  G.  D.,  of  Indiana, 
instituted  at  La  Grange  a  lodge  of  the  Knights  of  Honor,  the  following  being 
the  charter  members  :  Thomas  H.  Sefton,  Samuel  P.  Bradford,  Isaiah  Piatt,  A. 
D.  Mohler,  E.  G.  White,  George  W.  Berry,  John  A.  Miller,  C.  H.  Hollis,  J. 
H.  Hayes,  A.  D.  Moore,  M.  V.  Devor,  W.  S.  Berry,  J.  M.  Preston,  J.  B. 
Davenport,  A.  C.  Beecher,  E.  G.  Machan,  H.  M.  Casebeer,  E.  V.  Case,  0. 
L.  Ballou  and  Leonard  Peck.  The  following  were  the  first  officers :  0.  L. 
Ballou,  P.  D.;  Isaiah  Piatt,  D.;  T.  H.  Sefton,  V.  D.;  H.  M.  Casebeer,  A.  D.; 
J.  H.  Hayes,  G.;  A.  D.  Moore,  Chaplain;  E.  V.  Case,  Reporter;  M.  V. 
Devor,  Financial  Reporter ;  J.  B.  Davenport,  Treasurer ;  J.  A.  Miller,  Guard- 
ian;  A.  C.  Beecher,  Sentinel;  and  S.  P.  Bradford,  E.  G.  Machan  and  E. 
G.  White,  Trustees.  The  membership  has  since  reached  forty,  but  it  is  now 
thirty-nine,  one  of  the  number  having  died.  The  lodge  has  property  valued  at 
about  $500,  and  meets  on  Thursday  evenings-  Two  thousand  dollars  are  paid 
to  the  descendants  of  each  person  dying. — Ed.] 

The  business  interests  of  the  town  are  represented  by  seven  dry  goods 
stores,  one  millinery  and  fancy  goods,  three  millinery  and  dress-making  estab- 
lishments, two  tailor  shops,  five  grocery  stores,  four  boot  and  shoe  shops,  six 
drug  stores,  one  stationery  and  periodical  store,  three  hardware  stores,  three 
butcher  shops,  three  saddlery  and  harness  shops,  two  banks,  twelve  lawyers, 
thirteen  physicians,  three  newspaper  and  printing  offices,  two  jewelers,  two 
dental  offices,  two  photographers,  one  piano  and  organ  store,  three  sewing-ma- 
chine offices,  three  barber-shops,  four  restaurants,  three  flour  and  feed  stores, 
three  hotels,  three  saloons,  three  livery  stables,  two  agricultural  implement 
establishments,  two  marble-shops,  five  blacksmith-shops,  one  railroad  office,  two 
express  offices,  one  patent-medicine  manufactory,  one  gunsmith  and  manufact- 
urer, two  grain  warehouses,  two  steam  saw-mills,  one  steam  flouring-mill,  two 
planing-mills,  three  wagon-shops,  one  carriage  factory,  one  pump  manufactory. 

A  cheese  factory,  the  first  of  the  kind  in  the  county,  has  been  in  success- 
ful operation  during  the  past  season  by  Mr.  Chamberlin,  the  projector  and 
proprietor. 

Since  the  original  plat  was  surveyed,  several  additions  have  been  made  to 
the  town.  Ellison's,  on  the  south,  in  the  east  half  of  the  northwest  quarter  of 
Section  30,  was  laid  out  May  6,  1861.     Drake's,  in  the  west,  was  laid  out  by 


120  HISTORY  OF  LAGRANGE  COUNTY. 

James  L.  Drake,  October  6,  1868.  Ryason's,  in  the  west  half  of  the  north- 
east quarter  of  Section  30,  laid  out  November  24,  1868.  McClaskey's, 
February  13,  1869,  on  the  Haw  Patch  road,  in  the  south  part  of  the  town- 
McClaskey'a  East  Addition,  on  the  east  side  of  the  creek,  by  Robert  McClaskey, 
and  Herbert's,  in  the  northwestern  part  of  the  town,  fronting  on  the  Baubauga 
road,  was  laid  out  by  Ralph  P.  Herbert,  in  1877. 

La  Grange  was  incorporated  in  1855,  and  the  following  constituted  the 
•first  Board  of  Trustees :  Andrew  Emminger,  William  C.  Kennedy,  William 
Rheubottom  and  Rensselaer  Rheubottom,  who  held  their  first  meeting  Decem- 
ber 26,  1855,  and  organized  with  the  following  officers  :  Rensselaer  Rheubottom, 
President ;  Charles  B.  Holmes,  Clerk ;  Andrew  Ellison,  Marshal ;  Caleb 
Strang,  Treasurer ;  and  John  B.  Case,  Assessor. 

The  general  growth  of  the  town,  though  slow,  has  been  permanent,  and 
its  improvements  gradual.  Its  residences,  though  not  palatial,  are  mostly  neat 
and  homelike.  They  are  principally  frame  structures.  The  business  houses 
were  originally  built  of  lumber,  but  fire  has  made  its  inroad  upon  them  at  dif- 
ferent times,  until  but  few  of  these  old  landmarks  are  left ;  in  their  stead,  good 
substantial  brick  buildings  have  been  erected.  The  population  of  the  place, 
as  shown  by  the  census  of  1880,  varied  but  a  few  from  1,400.  There  are  but 
three  persons  now  living  in  the  place,  who  were  heads  of  families  and  residents 
here  in  1844.  These  are  Andrew  Ellison,  Robert  McClaskey  and  C.  B. 
Holmes. 

The  educational  advantages  and  system  of  instruction  in  the  schools  of 
La  Grange  present  no  features  of  striking  contrast  Avith  the  general  system 
throughout  the  State  of  which  it  is  a  part.  However,  from  the  rude  beginning 
of  the  first  school  taught  in  the  village,  gradual  progress  and  improvement  have 
been  made,  until  the  present  high  standard  of  excellence  in  the  graded  school 
has  been  reached.  The  first  opportunity  offered  the  little  urchins  of  the  village 
to  prepare  themselves  for  the  high  and  responsible  duties  of  matured  life,  in 
the  way  of  book  learning,  was  at  a  school  taught  by  Miss  Laura  Brown,  subse- 
quently Mrs.  Dr.  Butler,  in  a  barn  just  north  of  where  the  American  Hotel 
used  to  stand,  or  opposite,  and  to  the  northeast  of  the  present  Central  Hotel. 
Prior,  and  up  to  the  year  1866,  the  public  educational  facilities  were  those  of 
the  ordinary  district  schools.  Among  those  who  taught  in  these  schools,  and 
who  have  attained  prominence,  are  Samuel  P.  Bradford,  the  present  Clerk  of 
the  La  Grange  Circuit  Court,  and  Rev.  J.  W.  Welch,  Presiding  Elder  of  the 
Warsaw  District  of  the  North  Indiana  Conference.  The  people,  however,  at 
an  early  day,  desired  a  higher  grade  of  education  and  better  facilities  than 
were  afforded  by  the  district  school,  and  an  attempt  was  made  to  satisfy  the 
demand  under  a  law,  for  the  purpose  of  providing  for  a  county  seminary. 
The  funds  were  gathered  together  from  the  various  authorized  sources,  and  the 
construction  of  a  two-story  frame  building,  for  the  purpose,  was  commenced  a 
few  rods  south  of  the  site  of  the  present  school  edifice.     About  the  time  it  was 


TOWN  OF  LA  GRANGE  ,  121 

inclosed,  and  before  completion,  the  funds  were  exhausted,  and  work  was  con- 
sequently suspended.  The  building  remained  in  this  condition  for  a  time,  and 
was  finally  sold  to  the  authorities  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church,  who  pro- 
ceeded to  complete  its  construction  and  occupy  it  for  school  purposes.  The 
first  term  opened  in  the  autumn  of  1850,  under  the  direction  of  James  C. 
Mcintosh,  of  Connersville,  Ind.,  a  graduate  of  Asbury  University.  He  con- 
tinued one  year  of  highly  acceptable  service,  when  he  returned  to  his  home. 
He  was  •  succeeded  by  Robert  Parrott,  also  of  Asbury,  who  taught  one  year, 
and  then  entered  the  practice  of  the  law.  At  the  breaking-out  of  the  rebel- 
lion, he  entered  the  army,  and  was  commisioned  Major  of  the  One  Hundredth 
Indiana  Volunteer  Infantry,  but  was  killed  by  the  falling  of  a  tree  during  a  storm, 
while  in  his  tent  near  Vicksburg.  Mr.  Parrott  was  succeeded  by  Isaac  Ma- 
huren,  and  he,  after  a  few  months,  by  John  Paul  Jones,  who  had  been  elected 
to  the  office  of  Clerk  of  the  La  Grange  Circuit  Court,  who  taught  the  remain- 
der of  the  term,  and  then  resigned  to  enter  upon  the  duties  of  his  office.  In 
1854,  John  B.  Clark  took  charge  of  the  school  and  conducted  it  for  several 
years.  Others  were  Thomas  L.  Hulbert,  George  Hall  and  a  Mr.  Pierce, 
With  the  close  of  the  latter's  administration,  the  history  of  the  seminary  ends. 
By  reason  of  financial  embarrassment,  the  building  was  finally  sold  to  Samuel 
Thurber,  and  he  in  turn  conveyed  it  to  the  Grand  Rapids  &  Indiana  Railroad 
Company,  and  received  in  payment  capital  stock  of  said  company.  Finally, 
after  one  or  two  changes,  the  building  was  purchased,  in  1866,  by  Moon 
Brothers,  who  removed  it  to  their  grounds  in  the  south  part  of  town,  on  the 
Haw  Patch  road,  where  it  is  still  occupied  by  S.  D.  Moon  as  a  carriage  and 
wagon  manufactory.  Following  the  year  1866,  a  change  was  made  by  the 
erection  of  a  large  two-story  frame  building,  and  the  adoption  of  a  higher 
course  of  instruction,  embracing  more  advanced  branches  than  those  taught  in 
the  district  schools.  This  supplied  the  wants  very  well  until  the  opening  of 
the  schools  in  1874,  when  a  complete  graded  course  was  adopted,  and  the  school 
brought  more  nearly  to  the  requirements  of  the  times  and  the  advancement  of 
the  country.  The  Principals  employed  since  1866,  with  their  term  of  service, 
are  as  follows  :  A.  W.  Durley,  one  year ;  J.'  H.  Graham,  two  years ;  C.  Hew- 
ett,  one  year  ;  Alfred  Bayless,  two  years  ;  Samuel  Lilly,  one  year  ;  0.  A. 
Reubelt,  one  year  ;  A.  D.  Mohler,  seven  years. 

The  building  now  occupied  by  the  public  schools  is  a  brick  structure, 
erected,  in  1874,  at  a  cost  of  $30,000,  including  furniture  and  apparatus.  It  is 
of  the  modern  style  of  architecture  in  its  general  design,  and  three  stories  high. 
The  main  building,  on  the  ground,  is  60x70  feet  and  the  wing  31x64  feet.  The 
basement  is  used  for  furnace  purposes,  rooms  for  storing  wood,  and  others  for 
€xercise  of  the  scholars  in  inclement  weather.  On  the  first  floor  there  are  six 
rooms,  two  in  the  wing  and  the  others  in  the  main  part.  There  are  two  halls, 
in  which  are  placed  the  stairway,  wardrobes,  etc.,  one  of  the  halls  being  in  the 
wing.     The  sizes  of  the  halls  are  21x60  feet  and  16x80  feet.     The  Superintend- 


122  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

ent's  office  is  in  the  tower,  directly  over  the  main  entrance  to  the  second  floor- 
On  the  third  floor  is  the  lecture-room,  43x60  feet,  which  is  approached  by  two 
stairways,  giving  ample  means  of  ingress  and  egress.  Its  seating  capacity  is 
estimated  at  forty  persons.  The  building  is  covered  by  a  mansard  roof  and  has 
accommodations  for  480  pupils.  The  heating  and  ventilating  are  done  by  mean* 
of  three  furnaces  and  their  equipments.  This  building  will  compare  favorably 
with  any  of  its  kind  to  be  found  in  Northern  Indiana.  There  are  enrolled  at 
the  present  time  300  pupils.  The  school  is  divided  into  three  departments — 
the  higher,  grammar  and  primary,  with  twelve  grades.  The  present  teachers 
are:  C.  P.  Hodge,  Superintendent;  Miss  Achsa  Hufl"man,  Principal;  Miss  Ella 
Goodsell,  Mr.  Ora  Rowe,  Miss  Ada  Henderson,  Miss  Lulu  Storer  and  Miss 
Mattie  Parry,  Assistants. 

In  La  Grange,  as  in  all  communities,  the  spiritual  welfare  of  the  people 
was  among  the  first  things  to  be  looked  after  and  cared  for.  The  inhabitants 
of  the  little  hamlet,  in  its  earliest  days,  were  blessed  by  the  presence  of  the 
preacher,  who  held  meetings  at  any  convenient  place  until  provision  was  made 
for  a  regular  house  of  worship.  The  Rev.  Thomas  B.  Connelly,  who  was  a  res- 
ident of  the  township,  probably  preached  the  first  sermon  in  the  town.  Revs. 
James  Latty,  Abram  Rowe,  Charles  J.  Fox  and  James  Roy  were  also  among 
the  early  local  preachers  who  labored  efficiently  among  the  pioneers  of  the  place. 
The  Methodist  Episcopal  was  the  first  church  society  formed  in  La  Grange.  It 
was  organized,  in  1843,  by  Rev.  William  J.  Forbes,  who  was  the  preacher  in 
charge  of  the  La  Grange  Circuit.  It  consisted  of  the  following  members : 
James  Packer  and  Esther,  his  wife,  both  of  whom  are  living  about  two  miles 
east  of  town;  Amasa  Durand  and  his  wife  Hannah,  now  the  wife  of  Robert 
McClaskey  and  residing  in  La  Grange.  Mr.  Durand  died  in  1849.  He  was 
the  owner  of  and  resided  at  the  time  of  his  death  on  the  farm  adjoining  the 
original  village  plat,  a  part  of  which  is  embraced  in  the  Ryason  Addition. 
Though  a  strong  man,  both  mentally  and  physically,  the  labor  of  clearing  this 
farm  was  the  cause  of  his  early  demise.  Isaac  P.  Grannis  and  his  wife  Rhoda 
were  members.  The  latter  is  living  in  Johnson  Township.  Mr.  Grannis  died 
in  1863.  George  Hopkins  and  Sarah,  his  wife,  were  also  members.  He  died 
in  1850.  Mr.  Hopkins  usually  led  in  the  singing  in  those  early  days  and  in 
fine  old  Methodist  style.  His  widow,  who  married  Mr.  Sanderson,  is  still 
living.  Mr.  Packer  was  the  first  class  leader.  The  ministers  sent  to  the  place 
have  been  as  follows :  William  J.  Forbes  and  J.  C.  Medsker  in  1843,  E.  Doud, 
William  G.  Stonex,  Elijah  S.  Blue,  Elihu  Anthony,  Jesse  Sparks,  Elijah  Lil- 
liston,  L.  W.  Monson,  John  H.  Bruce,  Ezra  Maynard,  John  R.  Davis,  Eman- 
uel Hall,  Charles  Ketchara,  Samuel  Lamb.  James  A.  Beswick,  Abijah  Marine, 
John  Maffit,  John  Hill,  Reuben  Tobey,  F.  T.  Simpson,  D.  P.  Hartman,  James 
Johnson,  J.  M.  Mann,  E.  S.  Preston,  J.  H.  Hutchinson,  J.  W.  Welch,  Enoch 
Holdstock,  Almon  Greenman,  Y.  B.  Meredith,  C.  E.  Disbro,  and  the  present 
Pastor,  B.  A.  Kemp.     This  charge  was  connected  with  the  circuit  until  1862, 


TOWN  OF  LA  GRANGE.  123 

when  it  became  a  station  under  one  pastor  in  charge.  The  Presiding  Elders 
officiating  here  have  been :  George  M.  Boyd,  1844 ;  Samuel  Brenton,  184S  ; 
S.  C.  Cooper,  1849  ;  Jacob  M.  Stallard,  1850;  H.  B.  Beers,  1851 ;  Jacob  Col- 
clazier,  1853;  L.  W.  Monson,  1857;  W.  S.  Burch,  1861;  Thomas  Stabler, 
1865;  H.  J.  Meek,  1869;  0.  V.  Lemon,  1873;  A.  Greenman,  1877;  and 
M.  H.  Mendenhall,  appointed  in  1881.  Samuel  Brenton,  while  serving  on 
this  district  as  Presiding  Elder,  was  stricken  with  paralysis,  which  compelled 
him  to  retire  from  the  active  work  of  the  ministry.  He  was  subsequently  ap- 
pointed by  President  Taylor  Register  of  the  Land  Office  at  Fort  "Wayne,  and 
was  elected  three  terms  to  Congress  from  the  old  Tenth  District,  and  died  in 
Fort  Wayne  in  1856.  Elijah  S.  Blue  was  accidentally  killed  in  December, 
1845,  on  his  way  from  an  appointment  at  Wolcottville  to  his  home  at  Ontario. 
Having  dismounted,  and  while  leading  his  horse  with  the  halter  strap  fastened 
around  his  wrist,  the  animal  became  frightened  and  ran,  dragging  the  preacher 
after  him,  striking  his  head  against  a  wagon  in  the  road,  then  against  the  fence. 
He  was  instantly  killed.  The  church  edifice  erected  by  this  denomination  was 
completed  in  1856,  at  a  cost  of  about  $3,000.  It  has  since  been  improved 
and  a  parsonage  added,  increasing  the  value  of  the  whole  property  to  about 
f5,000.  It  is  a  substantial  frame  building,  with  a  basement  used  for  prayer 
and  class  meetings  and  as  a  lecture-room.  The  seating  capacity  is  about  five 
hundred.  The  Sabbath  school  was  organized  in  1853.  It  now  numbers  twenty- 
nine  officers  and  teachers  and  175  scholars,  with  an  average  attendance  of  150. 
The  school  is  in  a  prosperous  condition,  under  the  superintendency  of  George 
C.  Morgan.  There  has  recently  been  organized  a  Sabbath  school  normal  class, 
under  competent  instructors,  for  the  purpose  of  giving  particular  attention  to 
Biblical  study.     The  membership  of  the  church  is  now  about  three  hundred. 

The  Presbyterian  Church  was  organized  in  the  winter  of  1843-44,  by  the 
Rev.  Benjamin  Ogden,  of  Three  Rivers,  Mich.,  and  Rev.  Bouton,  who  were 
appointed  as  a  committee  for  that  purpose  by  the  Presbytery  of  La  Grange. 
The  original  members  were  Francis  M.  Price  and  his  wife,  Sarah,  William  S. 
Boyd,  and  Sarah,  his  wife,  Robert  Cummings,  and  Harmon  B.  McCoy.  The 
first  Elders  were  Messrs.  Price  and  Boyd.  Of  this  little  communion,  Mr.  Boyd 
is  the  only  survivor,  and  is  residing  in  the  town.  The  Rev.  Mr.  Ogden  served 
the  church  for  a  short  time,  during  which  Mr.  Phillip  Toll  and  his  wife,  who 
resided  at  Fawn  River,  Mich.,  a  distance  of  about  ten  miles,  united  with  the 
church.  In  June,  1845,  the  services  of  Rev.  A.  D.  White,  who  came  from  the 
State  of  New  York,  were  secured  for  one-half  of  his  time — he  preaching  here 
and  at  Fawn  River  alternately  once  in  two  weeks.  In  October,  of  the  same 
year,  at  the  request  of  the  church,  the  Synod  of  Northern  Indiana  transferred 
its  connection  from  the  Presbytery  of  La  Grange  to  the  Presbytery  of  Fort 
Wayne.  Rev.  Mr.  White  continued  his  labors  until  April,  1848.  During  his 
time,  fifty-nine  members  were  added  to  the  church,  nine  by  profession  of  faith, 
and  the  others  by  letter  from  other  churches,  they  having  immigrated  to  the 


124  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

county  and  settled  here.  In  June,  1848,  Rev.  A.  H.  Kerr  came  as  stated 
supply,  and  continued  his  labors  until  1852.  Up  to  this  time  this  organization 
had  no  church  building  of  their  own,  but  held  service,  in  common  with  the  other 
denominations  represented  here,  in  the  court  house  or  school  house.  Rev. 
William  Cathcart  received  a  call  from  the  Presbytery,  and  was  ordained  and 
installed  as  pastor  in  1854.  He  was  the  first  regularly  installed  pastor  of  this 
church.  On  account  of  failing  health,  Mr.  Cathcart  resigned  his  charge  in  the 
spring  of  1864,  and  was  succeeded  by  Rev.  A.  D.  F.  Randolph,  who  continued 
until  1869.  At  the  time  of  Mr.  Gathcart's  retirement,  the  membership  was 
seventy-one.  He  died  at  Lima,  January  1, 1870.  Rev.  Thomas  E.  Hughes, 
then  pastor  of  the  church  at  Constantine,  Mich.,  received  a  call  and  became 
the  settled  pastor  of  this  church,  and  remains  as  such  at  the  present  time. 
The  membership  is  now  115.  The  present  Elders  arc  Matthew  McCoy,  Ira 
Barrows,  Dr.  E.  G.  White,  J.  F.  Clugston  and  E.  G.  Machan.  The  Sabbath 
school,  under  the  superintendency  of  E.  T.  Casper,  numbers  115  scholars  and 
twenty-one  officers  and  teachers.  The  present  house  of  worship  was  erected 
about  1853,  at  a  cost  of  about  $2,000.  Having  become  too  small  for  the  in. 
creasing  congregation,  it  has  been  sold,  and  an  eligible  site  has  been  purchased 
on  Michigan  street,  a  short  distance  northwest  of  the  court  house,  and  arrange- 
ments have  been  perfected  for  the  erection  of  a  fine  brick  church  building  early 
in  the  spring  af  1882. 

The  Evangelical  Lutheran  Church,  Mount  Zion  congregation,  wa 
organized  October  12,  1854,  by  Rev.  George  Walker,  a  member  of  the  Witten- 
burg  Synod,  and  was  constituted  with  the  following  membership :  Michael 
Hofi"  and  his  wife,  Eliza ;  Reuben  Trexler  and  his  wife ;  William  Sigler  and 
his  wife,  and  Benjamin  F.  Hills.  Mrs.  Trexler  and  Mrs.  Hofi"  have  since  died. 
Mr.  Hills  soon  entered  the  ministry  of  the  Lutheran  Church,  and  preached  for 
several  years  at  Spencerville,  and  subsequently  removed  to  Iowa.  Mr.  Walker 
was  succeeded  by  the  Rev.  John  G.  Biddle,  and  during  his  pastorate  the 
house  of  worship  now  occupied  by  this  society  was  erected.  It  is  a  neat  frame 
structure  32x46  feet,  with  a  seating  capacity  of  about  400.  It  cost  $1,000, 
and  is  situated  in  Ellison's  Addition,  in  the  south  part  of  town.  Much  of  the 
labor  performed  in  its  construction  was  by  Rev.  Biddle,  to  whose  zeal  and  un- 
tiring efforts  is  due  mainly  the  success  of  the  enterprise.  The  members  of  the 
church,  and  the  citizens  generally,  contributed  liberally  toward  this  object.  Mr. 
Biddle  was  the  first  regular  pastor  of  this  church.  He  died  in  Elkhart,  Ind., 
while  in  charge,  and  the  Rev.  A.  J.  Cromer  took  his  place.  Rev.  Jabez  Shafi"er 
came  to  the  charge  in  1875,  as  pastor,  and  Rev.  A.  R.  Smith  in  1878,  who 
continued  one  year.  Rev.  L.  S.  Keyser  was  chosen  pastor,  and  commenced 
his  labors  in  September,  1879.  He  resigned  in  1881,  for  the  purpose  of  com- 
pleting his  theological  course  at  Wittenburg  College,  Springfield,  Ohio.  Though 
but  twenty-three  years  of  age,  he  is  a  fluent  speaker,  and  bids  fair  to  become  an 
eminent  divine.     The  present  pastor,  the  Rev.  Levi  Rice,  entered  upon  his  du- 


TOWN  OF  LA  GRANGE.  125 

ties,  preaching  his  first  sermon  on  the  Sabbath,  October  2,  1881.  The  mem- 
bership is  200.  The  Sabbath  school  connected  with  this  church,  under  the 
superintendency  of  Elmer  R.  Steele,  numbers  104,  and  is  doing  a  good  work. 
The  St.  John's  Protestant  Episcopal  Church  Society  was  organized  on 
Easter  Monday  in  the  year  1872.  The  first  vestry  was  composed  of  the 
following-named  persons :  Rev.  Wellington  Forgus,  ex  officio  Chairman ; 
Messrs.  B.  B.  Harris,  Senior  Warden ;  Adrian  D.  Brown,  Junior  Warden ; 
Samuel  K.  Ruick,  Treasurer ;  Charles  F.  Parry,  Clerk.  St.  John's  Chapel 
was  erected  in  1873-74,  from  plans  furnished  by  Rev.  Forgus,  and  under  his 
supervision,  and  was  first  opened  for  service  on  the  28th  day  of  April,  1874> 
the  Right  Rev.  Bishop  Talbott,  of  the  Diocese  of  Indiana,  assisted  by  Rev. 
Wellington  Forgus,  officiating.  Mr.  Forgus  was  the  first  rector.  The  parish 
is  now  in  charge  of  the  Rev.  S.  C.  M.  Orpen,  with  sixteen  communicants.  The 
Sabbath  school  is  in  charge  of  the  pastor,  and  numbers  twenty-five  scholars. 
Ministers  of  other  denominations  have  from  time  to  time  preached  here,  but 
have  not  succeeded  in  efi"ecting  permanent  organizations.  The  first  burial  place 
for  the  town  of  La  Grange  was  on  about  two  acres  of  ground,  including  the 
site  of  the  present  school  building  and  extending  west,  which  served  for  that 
purpose  up  to  about  1863,  when  removals  were  made  to  the  present  cemetery, 
which  was  laid  out  in  1863,  and  is  a  picturesque  spot,  situated  about  three- 
fourths  of  a  mile  south  of  the  court  house,  on  the  road  leading  to  Wolcott- 
ville,  comprising  five  acres  of  ground  inclosed  by  a  substantial  board  fence,  and 
covered  with  a  natural  growth  of  fine  shade  trees,  and  admirably  selected  for 
the  purposes  to  which  it  is  devoted.  It  is  the  property  of  the  town  corporation, 
and  is  controlled  by  the  Town  Council,  who  regulate  the  sale  of  lots,  the  pro- 
ceeds of  which  are  devoted  to  the  purposes  of  beautifying  and  keeping  the 
grounds  and  improvements  in  order. 


CHAPTER  VI. 

BY  JOHN  PAUIi  JONES. 

Bloomfield  Township— Physical  Description— I^'atural  Eesources— First 
Entry  of  Land— Names  of  Early  Settlers— Life  in  the  Backwoods- 
Wild  Game— Mills,  Stores,  Blacksmith  Shops,  Etc.— Villages- Organ- 
ization OF  the  Township— First  Officers— Educational  and  Keligious 
Interests. 

AT  the  May  term  of  the  Board  of  Commissioners,  in  the  year  1835,  an 
order  was  made  creating  a  new  civil  township,  comprising  Congressional 
Township  37  north,  of  Range  10  east,  to  be  called  Bloomfield,  and  attaching 
Congressional  Township  36,  lying  on  the  south,  for  judicial  purposes.  This 
provisional  condition  relating  to  the  latter  township  continued  until  1837,  when 
a  separation  was  made,  by  the  erection  of  Township  36  into  a  distinct  civil 
organization  called  Johnson ;  this  left  Bloomfield  independent  as  a  township, 
lying  east  of  and  along  the  central  line  of  the  county,  running  north  and  south, 
and  about  one  mile  north  of  the  center.  It  is  bounded  on  the  north  by  Lima 
and  Greenfield  Townships,  on  the  east  by  Springfield,  south  by  Johnson,  and 
west  by  Clay.  The  physical  features  of  Bloomfield  present  no  very  striking 
characteristics ;  however,  its  surface  is  somewhat  diversified,  and,  in  common 
with  other  portions  of  the  county,  it  has,  along  its  water  courses  aind  near  its 
lakes,  considerable  marsh.  The  southern  portion,  and  extending  into  the  cen- 
tral part,  is  quite  rolling,  and  in  some  places  hills  of  some  elevation  present 
themselves.  The  north  part  of  the  township  is  level,  and  of  a  sandy  though 
productive  soil.  The  most  considerable  stream  that  crosses  its  territory  is 
Pigeon  River,  entering  the  township  from  the  east,  near  the  northeast  corner, 
with  its  general  course  westerly  across  Sections  1  and  2,  then  to  the  northwest, 
passing  out  about  one  mile  east  of  the  center  ;  it  has  several,  though  quite  small, 
tributaries,  joining  it  as  it  passes  across  this  township,  which  serve  to  drain  the 
surplus  waters  in  the  vicinity.  Fly  Creek  is  a  tributary  of  Pigeon  River,  but 
is  independent  so  far  as  it  bears  relation  to  this  township.  It  has  several 
branches  that  largely  form  the  natural  drainage  system  of  the  township,  and 
the  two  main  streams  have  been,  since  the  early  settlement,  of  great  importance, 
not  only  to  this  township  but  to  considerable  of  the  surrounding  country,  by 
affording  excellent  water  privileges,  which  have  been  improved  and  utilized  for 
driving  machinery,  principally  for  saw  and  grist-mills,  but  in  some  instances 
for  other  purposes.  Fly  Creek  and  its  branches  run  to  the  north,  forming  a 
junction  into  one  stream  in  Section  8,  and  passing  through  Section  5,  across 
the  north  line  of  the  township,  and  emptying  into  Pigeon  River  in  Lima  Town- 


^^-^^  ^^^^^^^t^^^^^^X 


LA  GRANGE 


BLOOMFIELD    TOWNSHIP.  129 

ship,  just  northwest  of  Ontario.  There  are  three  bodies  of  water,  wholly  or 
in  part  within  the  township,  of  sufficient  magnitude  to  entitle  them  to  be 
classed  as  lakes ;  these  are  Fish  Lake,  Sloan  Lake  and  Cline  Lake,  the  two 
former  being  in  the  southeastern  part.  These  lakes  are  the  resort,  in  the 
proper  season,  for  those  in  quest  of  piscatorial  sport,  as  they  have  within  their 
waters  a  goodly  supply  of  fish.  The  lands  of  Bloomfield  were  surveyed  in 
July,  1831,  by  George  W.  Harrison,  Deputy  Surveyor,  and  soon  after  thrown 
open  to  settlement ;  they  were  principally  covered  with  a  dense  forest,  consist- 
ing largely  of  oak,  beech,  hickory,  ash,  elm  and  walnut ;  but  the  richness  of 
the  virgin  soil  was  soon  detected  by  the  experienced  eye  of  the  venturesome 
pioneer,  and  the  advantage  of  securing  a  land-holding  within  its  borders  was 
appreciated,  as  shown  by  the  rapidity  with  which  purchases  were  made,  the 
greater  portion  being  entered  in  the  years  1834-35  and  '36.  The  first  tract  pur- 
chased from  the  United  States  was  entered  at  the  Government  Land  Office  in 
Fort  Wayne,  March  13,  1833,  by  Hugh  R.  Hunter,  being  the  northwest  quarter 
of  the  southwest  quarter  of  Section  1,  and  now  owned  by  Pitt  Cook  and  Noah 
C.  Fair.  Only  two  persons  in  the  township  have  the  distinction  of  owning 
and  still  residing  upon  the  land  originally  entered  by  them  ;  of  these,  Jacob 
Tidrick  is  by  far  the  earliest.  November  5,  1835,  he  purchased  of  the  United 
States  the  southwest  quarter  of  Section  7,  where  he  now  lives  in  the  enjoyment 
of  his  possessions,  the  title  to  which  would  not  be  difficult  to  trace.  Hezekiah 
Hoard,  though  purchasing  later,  forms  one  of  the  twain ;  in  1851,  he  secured 
from  the  State  the  norfhwest  quarter  of  Section  16,  it  being  a  part  of  the  land 
donated  by  the  General  Government  for  school  purposes  ;  this  tract  he  still  owns 
and  forms  a  portion  of  the  well-cultivated  farm  on  which  he  lives.  John  D. 
and  Manley  Richards  entered  the  northwest  quarter  of  the  northeast  quarter  of 
Section  13,  twenty-five  acres  of  which  is  still  owned  by  Manley  Richards. 
The  first  white  settler  in  the  township  was,  probably,  David  Hanson,  who  came 
in  1833,  and  settled  on  the  northeast  quarter  of  the  southeast  quarter  of 
Section  26. 

In  the  beginning  of  the  year  1836,  there  were  but  thirty  families  resident 
within  the  limits  of  Bloomfield.  These  were  Caleb  Jewett,  Hart  Hazen,  a  Mr. 
Townsend,  Peter  L.  Mason,  Amasa  Durand,  Ira  Hays,  Almon  Lawrence,  Cur- 
tis Harding,  Palmer  Grannis,  Jacob  D.  Groves,  Rev.  Thomas  B.  Connolly, 
Joseph  Welch,  George  D.,  Samuel  and  Daniel  Carl,  George  Cooper,  William 
Hern,  Sr.,  William  Hern,  Jr.,  Moses  J.  Hill,  Moses  Newell  Hill,  Washington 
Adams,  Elihu  Champlin,  Solomon  Scidmore,  Alanson  N.  Dewey,  Levi  Green, 
John  Davidson,  Joseph  Davidson,  Joseph  Richards,  Selah  P.  Benham  and 
Thomas  Newell.  None  of  these  are  now  living  in  the  township  ;  thirteen  died 
here,  and  the  others  moved  away,  some  to  the  Far  West ;  the  widows  of  three 
of  them,  however,  are  still  residents  here,  Mrs.  Harding,  Mrs.  Davidson  and 
Mrs.  Durand,  now  Mrs.  McClaskey.  This  locality  received  the  most  of  its  im- 
migration— as  did  the  greater  portion  of  the  county — from  the  States  of  New 


130  ■  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

York  and  Ohio,  and  a  few  from  Virginia  and  Maryland.  Among  the  earlier 
settlers,  and  those  coming  in  prior  to  the  year  1844,  besides  those  already  given, 
may  be  mentioned  Zopher  L.  Scidmore,  who  was  elected  Sheriff  of  the  county 
in  1854,  and  performed  the  duties  of  the  office  in  a  satisfactory  manner ;  Nor- 
man Weir.  Elijah  W.  Weir,  Andrew  Kilbury,  Moses  Marvin,  Aaron  Hill,  Tvory 
Crandall,  James  D.  and  John  R.  Crandall,  and  a  Mr.  Green,  who  located  in 
the  eastern  part  of  the  township ;  John  Y.  Clark,  Christian  Roop,  and  his  sons 
Joseph  and  Benjamin,  the  Parkers,  William  and  Hiram  Jacobs,  the  Mattoons, 
in  the  central  and  southern  part ;  Joseph  Richards,  Jacob  Hoagland,  Jacob 
Tidrick,  Francis  M.  Price  and  John  Preston  in  the  northern  part ;  Daniel  Sar- 
gent, Ira  Church,  Joseph  and  Jacob  Mills  and  Reuben  Hays  in  the  southern 
part.  George  Holmes,  Alexander  Holmes,  John  M.  and  William  Wigton,  in 
the  town  of  La  Grange. 

The  coming  in  of  each  family  meant  the  erection  of  a  cabin  and  another 
opening  in  the  forest  by  the  felling  of  the  timber  for  a  clearing,  and  a  prepar- 
ation for  crops.  These  clearings  for  the  first  year  or  two  were  usually  limited 
to  an  acre  or  so  planted  to  corn  and  vegetables  with  perhaps  a  patch  of  oats 
and  wheat.  To  be  successful  in  those  days  in  raising  grain  and  "  garden  truck  " 
required  eternal  vigilance  to  protect  them  from  the  depredations  of  the  wild 
turkey,  deer,  raccoon,  squirrel  and  other  pestiferous  animals  with  which  this 
county  in  the  early  day  was  fairly  swarming.  However,  these,  though  pests  in 
this  respect,  served  a  valuable  purpose  in  affording  almost  the  entire  supply  of 
meat  to  the  settlers.  In  common  with  the  experience  of  all  frontiersmen  in  the 
settlement  of  a  new  country,  the  early  settler  here  was  subjected  to  many  hard- 
ships and  privations,  and  ofttimes  the  most  heroic  fortitude  was  required  to 
overcome  the  seeming  insurmountable  obstacles.  The  products  from  the  little 
patch  of  ground  in  the  clearing,  and  the  game  that  was  brought  down  by  the 
unerring  rifle,  afforded  subsistence  for  the  family.  The  spinning-wheel  and 
loom  supplied  the  cloth  for  clothing  and  household  purposes,  save,  however, 
where  the  prepared  deerskin  and  the  furs  from  the  fur-bearing  animals  were 
utilized.  Luxuries  were  obtained  at  great  cost,  and  many  times  at  no  small 
sacrifice.  Groceries  and  the  commonest  kinds  of  merchandise  were  in  those 
days  catalogued  as  luxuries,  only  to  be  indulged  in  in  the  most  sparing  manner. 
Trading  points  were  miles  away  through  dense  woods,  without  road  or  perhaps 
trail.  Danger  was  upon  all  sides  ;  wild  beasts  were  prowling  around,  maddened 
by  hunger ;  impassable  swamps  impeded  progress,  unbridged  streams  were 
almost  insurmountable  barriers,  and  only  to  be  crossed — except  by  fording — 
with  the  possibility  of  the  faithful  horse  and  its  rider  being  carried  down  by 
the  rushing  waters.  The  Indians,  though  generally  friendly  and  harmless  in 
this  locality,  were  not  always  to  be  trusted,  and  to  be  intercepted  by  them  was 
attended  with  an  uncertainty  as  to  results.  The  traveler  without  guide,  and 
perhaps  compass,  was  liable  to  lose  his  way  and  be  overtaken  by  darkness  ; 
these  and  many  others  were  the   surroundings  to  be  taken  into  consideration 


BLOOMFIELD    TOWNSHIP.  13 i 

when  about  to  start  upon  a  journey.  In  those  days,  the  nearest  trading-point 
of  any  considerable  importance  was  Fort  Wayne,  Toledo,  Hillsdale  or  Michi- 
gan City.  To  these  points  grain  was  hauled  for  marketing  under  the  most 
trying  circumstances,  and  at  prices  so  insignificant  the  farmer  of  to-day  would 
not  consider  it  sufficient  remuneration  for  the  mere  transportation  to  market 
over  the  best  of  roads.  Yet,  with  all  of  these  impediments  to  be  surmounted, 
there  was  real  and  unalloyed  happiness  to  be  found  in  the  pioneer's  cabin.  In 
those  primitive,  days,  their  wants  were  of  the  simplest  kind  and  in  keeping  with 
their  surroundings.  Society  was  upon  a  common  level ;  the  only  passport  to  a 
membership  was  good  character ;  even  the  want  of  this  was  not  always  taken 
into  consideration.  For  the  young  man  or  the  young  woman  to  go  to  church 
barefoot  was  no  disgrace ;  for  whole  families  to  eat,  sleep  and  live  in  one  room 
was  the  rule,  and  to  be  in  the  enjoyment  of  more  than  that  was  the  exception. 
The  influx  of  settlers  necessitated  home  industries,  and  a  demand  for  milling 
facilities  was  among  the  first  and  the  most  important.  In  all  communities,  and 
upon  all  occasions,  there  are  those,  prompted  partly  by  gain  and  partly  by  an 
accommodating  spirit,  who  are  ready  to  supply  the  wants.  Saw-mills  in  various 
parts  of  the  township  were  built  at  an  early  time.  The  first  of  these  was  put 
up  by  Daniel  Harding  in  the  year  1835,  in  Section  17,  and  though  a  rude 
affair  was  a  great  convenience  to  this  advance  guard  of  civilization.  The  Van 
Kirk  Mill  was  built  quite  early  on  the  farm  now  owned  by  Christian  Miller,  a 
short  distance  south  of  La  Grange ;  it  was  erected  by  Peter  Prough,  now  a 
resident  of  Clay  Township.  Among  others  were  Newton's  Mill,  built  by  Otis 
Newton,  of  Lima  Township ;  Green's  Mill,  now  owned  by  Jonathan  Dorsey  ; 
and  Hill's,  all  on  Fly  Creek,  on  the  old  Fort  Wayne  road. 

Ira  W.  Brown  built  the  first  steam  saw-mill,  on  his  farm,  about  three 
miles  east  of  La  Grange,  and  Jeremiah  Outcalt  the  second,  a  short  distance 
south  of  Brown's  ;  these  are  still  in  operation.  Whilst  these  mills  have  been  a 
great  convenience  to  the  community,  and  a  source  of  profit  in  most  cases  to 
their  owners,  the  effect  of  their  existence  is  plainly  manifest  by  the  denudation 
of  the  land  of  the  best  timber  afforded  by  the  magnificent  forest  trees  that  once 
covered  the  township  surface. 

Other  callings  of  a  lesser  nature  were  prosecuted  to  meet  the  growing 
wants  of  the  neighborhoods,  and  here,  as  elsewhere,  the  tastes  of  the  people 
were  not  altogether  agricultural.  Some  had  learned  trades  before  coming, 
others  being  handy  at  almost  anything  to  which  they  might  turn  their  efforts. 
They  usually  gave  attention  to  such  occupation  as  would  offer  the  best  remu- 
neration, and  subserve  the  interests  of  those  about  them.  David  Hanson,  the 
first  settler  in  the  township,  was  the  first  to  manufacture  brick,  not  only  in  the 
township,  but  in  the  county.  Joseph  Welch  was  the  first  cabinet-maker  and 
undertaker,  thus  providing  for  the  convenience  and  comfort  of  the  living  and 
the  decent  burial  of  the  dead.  Contemporaneous  with  the  early  saw-mills  was 
Levi  Green,  the  first  carpenter;  and  before  the  development  of  "bog  iron  "  as 


132  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

an  industry  in  other  parts  of  the  county  came  John  Hardy,  who  operated  at  the 
forge  as  the  first  blacksmith.  Caleb  Jewett  was  the  first  shoemaker  to  provide 
for  the  wants  of  the  bare-footed  denizens  in  his  time.  Moses  J.  Hill,  as  a 
physician,  is  said  to  have  been  the  first  to  administer  professionally  for  the  sick. 
New  communities,  as  well  as  old,  require  a  civil  organization  and  officers 
to  execute  the  behests  of  the  sovereign  people  and  conserve  the  peace.  Bloom- 
field  having  been  organized  into  a  civil  township,  an  election  was  ordered  to  be 
held  at  the  house  of  Moses  J.  Hill,  on  the  first  Saturday  in  June,  1835,  for 
the  purpose  of  electing  a  Justice  of  the  Peace.  Mr.  Hill  was  appointed  in- 
spector of  said  election,  and  was  also  elected  as  said  Justice.  A  division  of  the 
township  was  made  into  two  road  districts.  All  the  territory  west  of  the  middle 
line  of  Range  10  comprised  the  first,  and  all  east  of  said  line  comprised  the 
second  district.  William  Hern  was  appointed  Supervisor.  The  first  general 
election  for  the  township  was  held  April  3,  1837,  at  the  house  of  Abel  Mat- 
toon,  on  the  southeast  quarter  of  Section  21.  Solomon  Scidmore,  John  David- 
son and  Horace  Bartine  constituted  the  election  board.  Jacob  D.  Groves  was 
elected  Justice  of  the  Peace ;  George  D.  Carl,  Constable;  William  Hern,  Jr., 
Inspector  of  Elections ;  E.  W.  Weir  and  Daniel  Carl,  Overseers  of  the  Poor ; 
Joseph  Davidson  and  Alanson  N.  Dewey,  fence-viewers ;  John  Davidson, 
Hiram  Babcock  and  Marvin  J.  Hill,  Supervisors.  The  young  people  in  the 
primitive  years  of  the  township,  in  some  essential  particulars,  were  not  unlike 
those  of  later  times.  Whilst  in  those  days  the  young  men  and  women  were 
not  being  constantly  "  mashed  "  on  each  other  at  first  sight,  as  expressed  in  the 
modern  vulgar  vernacular,  yet  there  were  genuine  love  affairs  ;  and  the  courting, 
though  from  the  very  nature  of  the  surroundings  conducted  under  difficul- 
ties, was  earnest  and  with  a  proper  purpose  in  view — that  of  marriage  and  a 
prospective  home,  where  each  could  be  a  source  of  aid  and  comfort  to  the  other. 
Among  the  first  legitimate  results  of  these  mutual  admiration  scenes  in  the 
township  was  the  marriage  of  Moses  N.  Hill  and  Nancy  Martin,  January  28, 
1832,  by  Luther  Newton,  one  of  the  Associate  Judges  of  the  county ;  Wash- 
ington Adams  to  Miss  Laura  Hill,  who  were  united  by  S.  Robinson,  a  Justice 
of  the  Peace,  at  Lima,  August  9,  1832.  The  license  for  the  marriage  was 
issued  on  the  18th  of  the  same  month,  and  was  the  first  issued  after  the  organi- 
zation of  the  county;  Elijah  W.  Weir  and  Amy  Hern,  by  Rev.  T.  B.  Connelly, 
May  16,  1836. 

[In  May,  of  the  year  1836,  William  C.  Tillman,  proprietor,  employed  a 
surveyor,  and  laid  out  twenty-four  blocks  of  twenty-four  lots  each,  and  nine 
blocks  of  twelve  lots  each,  on  the  north  half  of  Section  1,  Bloomfield  Township, 
and  named  the  village  thus  founded  Burlington.  The  proprietor  was  something 
of  a  speculator,  at  least  he  was  a  shrewd  man,  for,  it  is  said,  he  had  a  large, 
beautifully  colored  plat  of  his  village  made,  showing  that  it  was  located  on  the 
bank  of  the  Pigeon  River,  which  was  represented  on  the  plat  as  being  of  suffi- 
cient size  to  be  navigable  by  the  largest  vessels.     Armed  with  this  map,  and 


BLOOMFIELD    TOWNSHIP.  133 

loaded  to  the  inuzzle  with  glowing  metaphors  in  praise  of  his  village,  Mr.  Till- 
man went  East,  and  there  exhibited  the  plan  of  his  Western  town,  and  suc- 
ceeded in  selling  lots  (corner  ones),  to  some  six  or  eight  families,  and  inducing 
them  to  move  West  to  the  village.  When  these  families  reached  what  their 
imaginations  and  the  promises  of  Mr.  Tillman  had  pictured  as  a  fine  growing 
village,  they  found  the  site  to  be  in  a  swampy  place,  and  half  of  the  lots  covered 
with  water.  The  disappointment  and  dismay  were  complete.  Not  an  effort, 
with  one  exception,  was  made  to  colonize  the  place,  but  all  left  for  some  other 
locality.  One  man  made  arrangements  to  build  a  house,  obtained  some  lumber, 
and  perhaps  got  the  frame  up,  but  soon  abandoned  the  attempt,  and  the  pros- 
pective Burlington  was  left  to  the  sole  habitation  of  the  snakes,  birds  and  batra- 
chians. — Ed.] 

The  village  of  Bloomfield,  now  more  generally  known  as  "  Hill's  Corners," 
is  in  the  eastern  part  of  the  township,  on  the  old  Fort  Wayne  Road,  and  was 
platted  on  the  southeast  quarter  of  Section  23,  by  Moses  J.  Hill  and  Ivory 
Crandall,  September  14,  1836.  It  bid  fair  for  a  time  to  become  a  flourishing 
town,  and  was  a  rival  for  the  location  of  the  county  seat ;  but  not  succeeding  in 
that,  and  the  railroad  having  been  located  through  La  Grange,  it  failed  to  meet 
the  expectations  of  its  projectors,  and  still  remains  but  a  mere  hamlet. 

The  church  interests  of  the  township  have  principally  centered  in  La 
Grange,  the  several  denominations  maintaining  organizations  there  affording 
more  satisfactory  opportunity  for  the  people  in  the  country  to  worship  accord- 
ing to  their  belief  than  could  be  secured  in  any  other  way.  In  the  early  days 
of  the  settlement  of  the  country,  itinerant  pi'eachers  of  various  denominations 
visited  the  township  and  dispensed  the  Gospel  at  the  cabins  of  the  pioneers  in 
the  good  old-fashioned  way,  when  people  cared  less  for  style  and  more  for  the 
benefits  derived  than  at  the  present  day.  Some  attempts  to  maintain  church 
societies  have  been  made  in  the  township,  but  with  little  permanent  success. 
In  1835,  the  Rev.  Thomas  B.  Connelly,  of  the  M.  E.  Church,  organized  what 
was  called  the  Bethel  Church  in  his  neighborhood,  in  the  east  part  of  the  town- 
ship, with  seven  members — himself  and  wife,  Jacob  D.  Groves  and  wife,  Joseph 
Welch  and  wife,  and  Mary  Groves.  In  1852,  this  society  built  the  Bethel 
Chapel,  which  was  constructed  of  hewed  logs,  which  was  used  by  them  for  a 
place  of  worship  until  it  fell  into  disuse  for  church  purposes.  Mr.  Connelly 
was  a  native  of  Maryland,  and  came  to  this  county  in  1835,  settling  on  a 
farm  about  four  miles  east  of  La  Grange.  He  is  described,  by  one  who  knew 
him  well,  as  the  embodiment  of  goodness,  and  as  having  "  preached  more  ser- 
mons and  visited  more  sick  persons  than  all  the  other  ministers  combined." 
The  school  opportunities  of  Bloomfield  Township  are  on  a  par  with  those  through- 
out the  county,  and  varying  in  no  essential  particular  from  the  regular  district 
school  system.  The  first  schoolhouse  in  the  township  was  built  of  logs  in  the 
spring  of  1838,  on  the  southeast  corner  of  Section  23.  The  school  was  taught 
the  ensuing  summer  by  Miss  Almira  Crandall,  now  the  wife  of  Ebenezer  Hill, 


134 


HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 


and  living  in  the  township  near  Hill's  Corners.  Malcolm  Burri'ett  taught  the 
school  the  winter  following.  Among  the  earlier  teachers  in  the  township  were 
Rev.  T.  B.  Connelly,  John  Rhodes,  R.  C.  Blackman,  Miss  Griffith  and  Miss 
Weir.  The  number  of  schoolhouses  and  schools  now  in  the  township,  exclusive 
of  the  town  of  La  Grange,  is  nine ;  pupils  enrolled,  169  males  and  150  females. 
The  school  buildings  are  generally  neat  and  commodious,  and  are  furnished  with 
school  furniture  and  apparatus  of  the  modern  style,  the  schools  generally  being 
conducted  in  a  satisfactory  manner. 


CHAPTER  YII. 
by  weston  a.  goodspeed.* 
Lima  Township— The  Pioneers— Catalog lte  of  Early  Settlers— The  Eed 
Race— First  Land  Purchased  in  La  Grange  County— Interesting  In- 
cidents-Pounding OF  Lima  Village— Outline  of  its  Growth— Manu- 
facturing Interests— Village  of  Ontario— Its  Industries  and  De- 
velopment—The Lima  Seminary— The  La  Grange  Collegiate  Insti- 
tute—Pirst  School  in  the  County— Education  and  Religion. 

LIMA  TOWNSHIP  justly  enjoys  the  distinction  of  having  been  the  site  of 
the  first  white  settlement  in  La  Grange  County.  Benjamin  Blair,  Nathan 
Fowler,  Jason  Thurston,  William  Thrall  and  Jonathan  Gardner  located  within 
the  limits  of  the  township  prior  to  the  spring  of  1829,  and  it  is  quite  certain 
that  the  first  three  were  residents  of  the  township  in  1828.  Benjamin  Blair, 
who  moved  from  Ohio  to  Southern  Michigan  in  about  August,  1828,  did  not 
remove  to  Lima  Township  until  November  or  December  of  the  same  year. 
During  the  interval  he  selected  his  land,  now  the  Craig  farm,  a  mile  west  of 
Lima  Village,  and  erected  thereon  a  small  log  cabin.  At  the  time  his  family 
moved  into  this  unpretentious  domicile,  the  families  of  Nathan  Fowler  and  Jason 
Thurston  were  already  occupying  a  small  log  dwelling  situated  on  the  north  side 
of  Crooked  Creek,  and  almost  directly  north  of  Lima.  Both  families,  though 
small,  were  occupying  one  small  room — the  only  room  of  the  dwelling.  To 
render  the  situation  more  trying  at  the  time  the  Blairs  appeared,  a  small  child 
of  the  Thurston  family  died,  and  its  corpse  was  lying  in  the  cabin  when  the 
Blairs  first  occupied  their  new  home.  This  was,  unquestionably,  the  first  death 
in  the  township.  In  1829,  there  came,  among  others,  Moses  and  lea  Rice, 
William  Gardner,  Arthur  Burrows  and  very  likely  several  others.  Among  the 
earliest  were  Lemuel  Fobes,  John  Hewett,  John  Kromer,  Thomas  Gale,  John 
Gardner,  Miles  Bristol,  Mr.  Horning,  Mr.  Sinclair,  Nathaniel  Callahan,  Fred- 
erick Hamilton,  T.  R.  Wallace,  David  Smith,  Daniel  Fox,  Almon  Lawrence, 
Micajah  Harding,  Moses  Price,  Andrew  Newhouse,  Clark  Classen,  William 
Leverick,  Daniel  Davis,  Lewis  Switzer,  William  Adair,  John  Adams,  John  and 
Asa  Olney,  Nathan  Jenks,  John  B.  Howe,  Christopher  Cary,  George  Egnew, 
Oliver  Classen,  Nehemiah  Coldren,  Luther  Newton,  Elisha  H.  Shepard,  Mat- 
thew Hall,  Joshua  T.  Hobbs,  Samuel  P.  Williams,  John  Jewett,  Andrew 
Crawford,  David  Jewett,  Cornilius  Gilmore,  Nathan  Corwin,  Robert  Brecken- 
ridge,  Stephen  Corwin,  George  Latterar,  William  McCoy,  Lorenzo  Bull,  Ben- 
jamin Corder,  John  C.  Kinney,  Robert  Hamilton,  William  Hamilton,  Jacob 
Sidener,  Michael  Riley,  Jonathan  Stephens,  Sylvanus  Halsey,  E.  A.  Brown, 
Abbott  Fleming,  John  Trask,  Sydney  Keith,  John  G.  Lewis,  Peter  Miller, 
Samuel  A.  Howard,  Jesse  Ingraham,  Hiram  Harding,  Daniel  Harding,  Enoch 

*  Portions  of  the  facts  contained  in  this  chapter  were  compiled  by  John  P.  Jones,  J.  C.  Kinney  and  others. 


136  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

Layton,  Joseph  Leverage,  Augustus  Hewins,  Seth  Tucker,  William  Whitney, 
John  Taylor,  Thomas  Lock,  Ralph  Herbert,  Merriam  Fox,  Joseph  Keir,  Will- 
iam A.  Mills,  C.  K.  Shepard,  Emilius  Bartholomew,  Richard  Ferry,  Joseph 
Kerr,  T.  J.  Spaulding,  L.  P.  Hutchinson,  Jeremiah  C.  Robbie,  Isaac  Wallace, 
William  T.  Codding,  Robert  B.  Minturn  and  Dickinson  Miller.  Some  of  these 
men  did  not  reside  in  the  township  except,  perhaps,  for  a  short  time. 

It  is  a  matter  of  regret  that  the  names  of  all  the  earliest  settlers  cannot 
be  given.  No  one  seems  to  have  had  either  time  or  inclination  to  keep  a 
record  of  early  events,  and  the  familiar  proverb,  "  What  is  everybody's  business 
is  nobody's  business,  "  is  thus  verified.  For  an  indefinite  period  preceding  the 
occupation  of  the  county  by  the  whites,  the  site  of  the  village  of  Lima  was  a 
well-populated  and  widely-known  Indian  village.  Here  large  numbers  of  Pot- 
tawatomies  had  congregated  for  many  years,  as  was  shown  by  the  well-culti- 
vated garden  near  by,  and  the  large  number  of  deeply-worn  trails  which 
seemed  to  center  from  all  directions  upon  "  Mongoquinong,"  a,s  a  local  point. 
Notwithstanding  the  ravaging  effects  of  time,  some  of  these  trails  may  yet  be 
seen  in  the  vicinity  of  Lima ;  and  where  the  village  now  stands,  especially  the 
northwestern  part,  the  corn-hills  hoed  up  by  the  Indians  more  than  half  a  cen- 
tury ago  are  yet  easily  traced.  The  old  settlers  say  that,  growing  from  the 
sand  in  the  western  part  of  the  village  was  quite  a  large  orchard  that  had  been 
planted  either  by  the  Indians  or  the  French  traders,  or  (who  shall  say  not  ?) 
"  Johnny  Appleseed."  The  trees,  though  seedlings,  furnished,  in  some  cases, 
excellent  fruit.  From  reliable  authority,  it  is  certain  that  Mongoquinong  Vil- 
lage contained  an  Indian  population  of  several  thousand  before  the  white  race 
had  entered  Northern  Indiana  or  Southern  Michigan.  While,  so  far  as  known, 
the  French  traders  erected  no  store  building  at  the  village,  nor  perhaps  estab- 
lished no  constant  trading-point  there,  yet  it  is  certain  that  the  French  were 
often  there  with  Indian  trinkets  and  supplies,  strapped  in  packs  on  the  backs 
of  ponies.  These  traders  were  accustomed  to  travel  from  village  to  vil- 
lage, remaining  several  days  at  each  point,  where  their  goods  were  displayed  in 
some  rented  wigwam,  and  sold  or  traded  for  all  kinds  of  valuable  furs.  As 
the  Indian's  standard  of  the  measure  of  values  differed  essentially  from  that  of 
the  trader's,  and  that  of  the  latter  was  in  all  cases  used,  it  is  not  to  be  won- 
dered that  the  red  men  were  fleeced  to  an  almost  unlimited  extent.  As 
the  settlers  began  to  appear  in  Northern  Indiana,  the  Indians  began  to  scatter 
and  retire,  until,  in  1828,  perhaps  no  more  than  about  thirty  wigwams  were 
standing  at  Mongoquinong.  Even  these  had  been  removed  somewhat  farther 
west,  and  scattered  for  some  distance  along  Pigeon  River ;  in  truth,  the  place 
scarcely  looked  like  an  Indian  village.  The  large  population  seemed  to  have 
been  parceled  out  among  the  number  of  lesser  chiefs,  and  to  have  been  thrown 
out  upon  their  own  resources,  as  small  bands  were  to  be  found  every  few  miles, 
on  every  stream.  Mrs.  (Blair)  Eno  says  that  her  father,  Benjamin  Blair,  dur- 
ing a  portion  of  the  year  1829,  permitted  I-^a  Rice  to  sell  whisky  to  the  In- 


LA  6RANGE 


LIMA    TOWNSHIP. 


139 


dians  in  the  cabin  of  the  former.  One  day  a  very  thirsty  Indian  pledged  his 
blanket  for  a  drink  of  whisky.  The  blanket  was  thrown  for  safe  keeping  upon 
the  roof  of  the  cabin,  but  after  a  few  hours  it  had  mysteriosly  disappeared. 
The  Indian  had  undoubtedly  taken  it,  and  thus  succeeded  in  getting  his  liquor 
for  nothing.  To  make  good  the  loss,  Mrs.  Rice  poured  two  or  three  pailfuls  of 
water  in  the  barrel.  This  was  the  beginning  of  quite  an  extensive  barter  with 
the  Pottawatomies  at  the  village.  The  trade  was  carried  on  through  the 
years  1830  and  1831,  in  a  small  building  that  had  been  built  for  the  purpose. 
Mr.  Rice  sold  whisky,  blankets,  beads,  tobacco,  powder  and  lead,  or  ex- 
changed them  for  furs.  The  Indians  were  peaceable,  except  when  inflamed 
with  passion  while  under  the  influence  of  whisky.  An  Indian  one  day  became 
so  incensed  at  Mr.  Rice  that  he  raised  his  rifle  and  fired  at  him,  but  luckily 
missed  the  mark.  They  were  consummate  beggars,  and  were  often  extremely 
skillful  in  their  efforts  to  secure  coveted  articles  from  the  whites.  They  would 
quietly  enter  cabins  without  warning  or  invitation,  seat  themselves  usually  on 
the  floor  and  light  their  pipes.  In  cold  weather,  they  were  often  permitted  to 
roll  themselves  in  their  blankets  and  sleep  upon  the  floor  by  the  flre  until  morn- 
ing. Sometimes  the  floor  was  covered  with  them.  Many  interesting  inci- 
dents might  be  narrated  if  space  permitted.  No  serious  outbreak  ever  occurred, 
though  an  occasional  knock-down  would  take  place.  At  the  time  of  the  Black 
Hawk  war  in  1832,  the  Indians  were  somewhat  excited  ;  but  this  was  owing  to 
the  possibility  of  their  being  drawn  into  the  fray,  not  against  the  whites,  but 
against  the  Sacs  and  Foxes.  In  about  the  year  1839,  the  Indians  were  removed, 
and  were  not  afterward  seen  at  Lima,  except  an  occasional  straggler  who  had 
sorrowfully  returned  to  view  for  the  last  time  the  happy  home  of  his  youth. 

The  following  were  the  only  tracts  of  land  in  the  county  entered  during 
the  year  1831,  all  in  the  present  Lima  Township  : 


NAMES. 

William  Gardner , 

Robert  Hamilton 

Same ., 

Daniel  Fox 

Same , 

Benjamin  Blair 

Francis  Blair 

Frederick  Hamilton , 

William  Thrall 

William  Thrall  and  John  ") 

Gardner / 

John  Gardner 

Nathaniel  Callahan 

AsaOlney 

Ami  Lawrence 

Obadiah  Lawrence 

John  Cook 

Richard  Smart 

John  Olney 

Peter  Prough  and  Jacob  1 

Sidener / 


Section. 

Town- 
ship. 

Kange. 

24 

38 

9 

13 

38 

9 

l.S 

38 

9 

13 

38 

9 

36 

38 

9 

25 

38 

9 

26 

38 

9 

25 

38 

9 

25 

38 

9 

24 

38 

9 

28 

38 

9 

17 

38 

9 

18 

38 

9 

18 

38 

9 

18 

38 

9 

17 

38 

9 

17 

38 

9 

19 

38 

9 

12 

38 

9 

Date. 


Number  of 
Patent. 


N.E.I 

N.  *  S.  E.  i 
E.  |N.E.  i 
S.  ^  S.  E.  -1- 
W.^.N.W.I 

N.W.i 

E.  J  N.  E.  1 
W.iN.E.  i 
E.  ^  N.  E.  ] 

S.  E.  1 

W.^N.W.i 
W.J  S.  W. } 
E.  *  S  W.  J 
E.  I  S.  E.  1 
W.|S.  W.i- 
E.  J  S.  W.  ^ 
W.  i  S.  E.  i- 
E.  iN.W.  i- 
f  fraction'l  ) 
(    section    ( 


160 
80 
80 


160 
80 
80 
80 

160 


80 
80 
80 
80 
80 
80 

100. 


March  31 
March  31 
March  31 
March  31 
March  31 
April  29 
May  7 
May  7 
May     16 

May     28 

May  28 

June  13 

June  13 

June  13 

June  13 

June  23 

June  23 

June  27 

Oct.   10 


568 
569 
570 
571 
572 
649 
658 
659 
665 

720 

721 
921 
922 
923 
924 
934 
936 
940 

1065 


140  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

"At  the  session  of  the  Board  of  Commissioners  of  the  county,  commencing 
May  14,  1832,  it  was  ordered  that  the  county  be  divided  into  two  townships, 
all  the  territory  west  of  the  center  line  of  Range  10  to  constitute  a  township 
known  as  Lima,  and  all  the  territory  east  of  such  line  to  be  known  by  the 
name  of  Greenfield.  Benjamin  Blair  was  appointed  Assessor  for  Lima  Town- 
ship. At  the  same  session  an  election  for  township  officers  was  ordered 
held  on  the  second  Saturday  in  June  of  the  same  year.  Lemuel  Fobes 
was  appointed  Inspector  of  the  election.  Micajah  Harding,  Sr.,  and 
William  Adair  were  appointed  Overseers  of  the  Poor ;  Andrew  Crawford  and 
John  Jewett,  Fence  Viewers  ;  Clark  Clossen  and  Andrew  Crawford,  Constables. 
The  township  was  divided  into  four  Supervisor  districts  in  January,  1833. 
Daniel  Harding,  William  Thrall,  Arthur  Burrows  and  John  Jewett  were  ap- 
pointed Supervisors.  As  the  other  townships  were  created,  Lima  was  grad- 
ually cut  down  to  its  present  size  and  shape."* 

Thomas  Gale  and  George  Egnew  each  had  a  store  in  the  township  before 
goods  were  sold  in  the  village  of  Lima,  except  by  the  Rices.  As  the  estab- 
lishment of  the  Rices  could  scarcely  be  called  a  store,  these  were  the  first  two 
in  the  township.  Both  men  kept  a  few  notions  and  groceries  and  a  small 
stock  of  dry  goods.  How  long  Mr.  Egnew  continued  is  not  remembered,  but 
Mr.  Gale,  some  time  during  the  year  1833,  removed  his  stock  to  what  is  now 
Lima.  He  increased  his  goods  until  they  were  probably  worth  $1,500.  This 
was  the  first  well-patronized  store  in  the  township.  In  October,  1834,  the  vil- 
lage of  Mongoquinong  (now  Lima)  was  laid  out  by  Jolin  Kromer,  Surveyor, 
and  Moses  and  lea  Rice,  proprietors.  Lots  to  the  number  of  286  were  laid 
out,  and  eighty-four  of  these  were  given  to  the  county  in  consideration  of 
having  the  county  seat  located  there.  A  public  square  was  donated,  as  were 
also  two  acres  in  the  southern  part  for  a  cemetery.  In  April,  1836,  Samuel  P. 
Williams,  who  was  destined  to  figure  prominently  in  the  affairs  of  Lima,  laid 
out  an  addition  to  the  village  on  the  north.  He  laid  out  twenty- four  blocks  of 
ten  lots  each,  two  blocks  of  sixteen  lots  each,  and  three  blocks  of  eighteen  lots 
each,  and  also  donated  a  block  for  a  public  park  or  square.  The  growth  of 
Lima  between  1832  and  1838  was  very  rapid,  and  it  even  continued  to  grow 
and  thrive  until  the  county  seat  was  removed  to  La  Grange,  and  various 
branches  of  business  had  sprung  into  life  there.  As  soon  as  the  county  seat 
was  established  at  Lima,  lawyers  and  constables  and  judges  began  to  appear. 
John  B.  Howe,  one  of  the  clearest  and  most  profound  thinkers  ever  in  North- 
ern Indiana,  appeared  in  1833,  and  began  the  practice  of  law.  Old  settlers 
tell  the  writer  that  John  B.  Howe  had  no  equal  at  the  Lima  bar  in  early  years 
for  lucid,  cogent  and  logical  argument.  In  the  presentation  of  a  legal  proposi- 
tion, no  matter  how  intricate  and  baffling,  he  could  make  the  simplest  auditor 
understand  him.  If  any  doubts  existed  as  to  his  unusual  ability  in  this  par- 
ticular, they  would  at  once  be  removed  by  the   perusal  of  his  publications  on 


LIMA    TOWJSSHIP.  141 

the    subject  of  that  blindest   and  most   complex   of    all   questions — finance. 
There  is  not  a  superior  thinker  in  the  county. 

The  presence  of  such  men  at  Lima  could  not  but  result  in  benefit  and 
general  prosperity.  This  will  more  clearly  appear  as  the  reader  continues. 
Among  the  men  who  have  sold  goods  of  various  kinds  in  Lima,  have  been  in 
nearly  the  following  order :  lea  Rice,  Thomas  Gale,  Jonathan  Woodruff,  George 
Egnew,  Seth  Tucker,  Jonathan  Stevens,  Gale  &  Woodruff",  John  Cook,  Woodruff" 
.&  Kellogg,  Albert  Powell,  Nathan  Merriman,  Elias  S.  Swan,  Gale  &  Williams, 
Delavin  Martin,  Harrington  Bros.,  King  &  De  Puy,  William  M.  Holmes,  Mr. 
Oase,  Kinney  &  Powell,  Richard  M.  Fury,  H.  W.  Wood,  Hobbs  &  Gardner,  S. 
M.  Cutler,  John  Trask,  Powell  &  Haskins,  Hill  &  Morrison,  Nichols  &,  Smith, 
AVoodruff"  &  Morse,  Morrison  &  Beecher,  Jewett  &  (somebody),  Mr.  Kane, 
Joseph  Wright,  J.  R.  Kirby,  H.  J.  Hall,  Mr.  McBride,  Mr.  Wicker,  Bar- 
ber &  Wolcott,  Durand  &  Shepardson,  Jewett  &  Rawles,  Rawles  &  Hull,  A. 
Atwater,  Mr.  Searing,  Mr.  Shoop,  A.  W.  Beecher,  Cooper  &  Thompson,  Ste- 
phen Cooper  and  others.  One  of  the  best  (if  not  the  best)  stores  ever  in  Lima, 
was  kept  by  Gale  &  Williams,  and  afterward  by  Samuel  P.  Williams.  It  was 
opened  in  the  spring  of  1837  with  a  general  stock  valued  at  $20,000.  The 
goods  were  purchased  in  New  York,  shipped  by  the  Erie  Canal  to  Buff'alo, 
transported  by  vessel  to  Michigan  City,  and  then  hauled  in  wagons  to  Lima, 
the  freight  bill  alone  amounting  to  $3,000.  In  1839,  Mr.  Williams  purchased 
ihis  partner's  interest  and  continued  the  business  on  a  gigantic  scale  until  1853, 
when  he  sold  out  to  Jewett  &  Rawles.  Owing  to  the  scarcity  of  money  in 
early  years,  sales  were  usually  a  sort  of  barter,  and  from  this  fact  merchants 
were  compelled  to  take  certain  kinds  of  produce  for  their  goods.  Mr.  Will- 
iams took  large  quantities  of  pork,  wheat,  butter,  eggs,  etc.,  shipping  the 
same  by  wagon  to  Eastern  markets.  Live  hogs  were  bought,  butchered  and 
salted  down  during  the  winter  months.  Running  accounts  were  opened  with  all 
the  settlers  whose  credit  was  good,  and  a  large  proportion  of  the  pay  was  taken 
in  the  products  of  the  farm.  Merchants  usually  went  East  twice  a  year  for 
their  goods,  and  necessarily  had  to  buy  at  one  time  enough  to  last  them  six 
months.  Mr.  Williams  at  one  time  bought  nearly  $25,000  worth  of  goods. 
It  is  impossible  to  tell  all  the  hardships  met  by  the  settlers  owing  to  the  lack 
of  money.  They  often  came  with  the  most  pitiful  stories  to  the  merchants  in 
hope  that  the  latter  would  assist  them.  Merchants  made  their  calculations  to 
lose  a  certain  per  cent  of  their  sales.  Lima  was  the  center  of  a  trade  extend- 
ing over  a  tract  of  country  fifty  or  more  miles  in  diameter.  One  day,  Phi- 
lander Isbell,  of  Noble  County,  a  young  man  who  had  married  but  a  few 
months  before,  came  to  Mr.  Williams,  told  him  in  confidence  that  he  had  no 
money,  nor  property  that  could  be  readily  converted  into  money,  stated  soberly 
that  he  expected  an  increase  in  the  family  soon,  and  must  have  a  few  necessary 
articles  for  the  prospective  mother  and  child.  Becoming  satisfied  that  the 
young  man  had  told  him  the  truth,  Mr.  Williams  gave  him  what  he  wanted,  to 


142  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUiNTY. 

the  amount  of  about  $10.  A  year  or  two  later  the  supplies  were  paid  for,  and 
nothing  further  was  heard  of  the  affair,  until  a  short  time  ago,  when  Mr.  Isbell^ 
who  is  yet  living,  related  the  circumstance  to  Mr.  Williams,  and  said  it  was  the 
greatest  favor  he  ever  received  from  any  one.  Thousands  of  instances,  show- 
ing the  trials  of  early  years,  might  be  mentioned.  The  other  early  merchants 
of  Lima  had  an  experience  similar  to  that  of  Mr.  Williams.  Delavin  Martin 
had  about  $12,000  worth  of  goods,  and  several  others  owned  nearly  as  much. 
In  1829,  Moses  Rice  erected  a  small  log  dwelling  in  the  southern  part  of  what 
is  now  Lima.  This  was  the  first.  Arthur  Burrows  was  licensed  to  keep  a  tav- 
ern in  1833,  it  being  the  first  in  Mongoquinong,  as  Lima  was  then  called. 
Mr.  J.  P.  Jones  says  the  name  was  changed  by  special  act  of  the  Legislature 
in  1833  or  1834.  Court  was  held  in  the  houses  of  Thomas  Gale,  Arthur  Bur- 
rows, Moses  Rice,  Mr.  McNeal,  David  St.  Clair  and  perhaps  others.  The 
land  upon  which  the  village  stands  was  held  jointly  by  the  Rices  and  Jonathan 
Gardner,  and  was  purchased  of  the  Government  August  29,  1832.  Not  more 
than  eight  or  ten  families  resided  in  the  village  in  1832,  but  within  four  year& 
the  population  had  reached  over  two  hundred,  and  in  1840  was  probably  about 
three  hundred  and  fifty.  The  population  probably  at  no  time  reached  450. 
Nathan  Merriman  opened  a  tavern  in  1835.  The  old  court  house  was  used  as 
a  tavern  after  1844,  for  a  time,  by  Dr.  F.  F.  Jewett ;  it  was  finally  destroyed 
by  fire.  Henry  W.  Wood  and  Warren  Lee  kept  the  Lima  House  where  the 
Kingsbury  House  now  stands ;  it  was  burned,  as  were  also  all  the  buildings  on 
the  east  side.  The  loss  was  about  $10,000.  The  present  block  on  the  east 
side  was  erected  in  1860,  by  Samuel  P.  Williams,  John  B.  Howe,  Samuel  Bur- 
nell  and  G.  J.  Spaulding,  at  a  cost  of  some  $18,000.  Howe  and  Williama 
built  the  Kingsbury  House  at  the  same  time,  at  a  cost  of  about  $8,000.  Mr. 
Crandall  conducted  this  house  before  it  was  purchased  by  M.  Kingsbury. 
Among  the  Postmasters  have  been  Thomas  Gale,  George  Egnew,  J.  Whittaker, 
C.  Ward  (a  man  who  robbed  the  mail  and  was  prosecuted),  John  Moore,  S> 
M.  Cutler,  J.  S.  Castle,  F.  F.  Jewett,'  Mrs.  Wicker,  A.  C.  Van  Arnum,  Mr. 
Strong,  A.  M.  Kromer,  W.  H.  De  Puy,  Mrs.  L.  Wicker.  Among  the  physi- 
cians have  been  Elias  Smith,  B.  Smith,  Mr.  Alvord,  J.  McCelvy,  C.  A.  Mont- 
gomery, George  Dayton,  Mr.  Hughes,  George  Palmer,  C.  C.  Holbrook,  W. 
M.  Fox,  Mr.  Parish,  Mr.  Bossinger,  T.  J.  Hobbs,  Mr.  Sanger,  William  McCue, 
Mr.  Goodrich,  Mr.  Griflfith,  Charles  Thompson,  F.  F.  Jewett,  G.  P.  Fletcher, 
Mr.  Pary,  Whitefeather  (an  Indian  doctor),  Mr.  Jones,  Mr.  Arnold  and  Mr. 
White.  Cornelius  Gilmore  is  said  to  have  been  the  first  blacksmith.  The  old 
jail  is  yet  standing  on  the  southwest  corner  of  the  square.  The  Cooper  store 
building  is  quite  an  old  one.  The  brick  block  on  the  north  was  erected  in 
1878.  Its  proprietors  are  C.  S.  Atwater,  A.  W.  Beecher  and  the  owners  of 
the  bank. 

In  about  1838,  David  Pucket  began  manufacturing  furniture,  which  he 
continued  quite  extensively  several  years.     The  same  year  Wright  &  Drake 


LIMA    TOWNSHIP.  143 

erected  and  began  conducting  a  wagon  factory,  employing  from  twelve  to 
twenty  hands,  and  continuing  a  number  of  years.  In  about  1850,  Lyman 
Wilcox  was  conducting  an  excellent  cabinet-shop.  He  turned  out  a  considera- 
ble quantity  of  furniture,  making  a  specialty  of  bedsteads.  Nathan  and  Will- 
iam Place  also  manufactured  wagons,  together  with  coffins,  etc.,  carrying  on 
the  business  eight  or  ten  years,  beginning  about  1840.  Theodore  Moore,  in 
about  1840,  manufactured  gloves  and  moccasins,  dressed  deer  skins,  and  made 
robes,  etc.  In  about  1845,  Richard  and  John  Salmon  erected  a  wooden 
building,  converting  the  same  into  a  foundry.  Here  they  began  manufacturing 
all  kinds  of  general  castings,  and  quite  a  large  number  of  plows,  that  were 
largely  used  in  all  the  surrounding  country.  They  employed  about  a  dozen  work- 
men. In  about  1849,  Samuel  P.  Williams  purchased  the  entire  business,  but 
soon  afterward  sold  to  Taylor  &  Vance,  who,  a  little  later,  sold  to  Hill  &  Tay- 
lor, the  latter  firm  conducting  the  enterprise  successfully  for  many  years.  Mr. 
Keith  is  the  present  owner  of  the  factory,  which  is  yet  doing  good  work. 
Other  men  have  owned  and  conducted  the  foundry,  among  whom  are  Hawks  & 
Co.,  Woodruff  &  Morse,  and  Gore  &  Hardesty.  Bar-iron  was  manufactured 
from  bog-ore  obtained  in  some  of  the  neighboring  swamps,  and  a  portion  of  the 
iron  thus  obtained  was  so  tough  and  malleable  that  it  was  used  for  horseshoe 
nails  and  steam  boilers.  Some  of  the  owners  have  shipped  large  quantities  of 
ore.  Hawks  &  Co.  kept  a  store  to  supply  their  workmen  with  goods,  etc.  In 
1870,  the  Star  Grist-Mill  was  erected  on  Crooked  Creek,  two  miles  northwest  of 
Lima,  by  Post  &  Torry,  in  which  were  placed  two  sets  of  buhrs.  A  little 
later,  S.  Flusher  bought  the  mill,  and  soon  sold  an  interest  to  Mr.  Arnold. 
Another  set  of  stones  and  a  turbine  water-wheel  were  added.  W.  T.  Miller 
began,  in  about  1837,  to  manufacture  wagons,  continuing  the  business  some 
twenty-five  years,  turning  out  about  thirty  vehicles  per  annum,  on  the 
average.  John  Taylor  also  followed  the  same  occupation  in  an  early  day.  In 
about  the  year  1836,  Albert  Powell  erected  a  distillery  on  the  bank  of  "Still" 
Lake,  named  thus  from  the  location  of  the  distillery.  No  very  large  quantity 
of  liquor  was  made  there,  although  that  which  was  distilled  is  said  to  have 
been  of  excellent  quality.  This  statement  is  clearly  proved  by  the  rapid  dis- 
appearance of  the  whisky  as  soon  as  made.  The  business  soon  passed  to  the 
ownership  of  Hiram  Harding,  and  later  to  H.  W.  Wood,  who  removed  the  still, 
and  began  to  manufacture  potash  on  quite  an  extensive  scale,  continuing  as 
long  as  ashes  could  be  obtained  cheaply.  A  Mr.  Hort  manufactured  the  pot- 
ash. The  corn,  or  other  grain,  used  in  this  distillery  was  mashed  by  hand, 
some  four  men  being  employed.  In  about  1845,  William  Marten  erected  a 
distillery  in  Lima.  Ten  or  twelve  workmen  were  employed,  and  from  15,000  to 
20,000  bushels  of  grain  were  annually  consumed  in  the  manufacture  mostly  of 
what  were  called  "  high  wines."  Several  teams  were  constantly  employed  to  con- 
vey the  liquor  to  market.  One  set  of  44-inch  buhrs  was  used  to  grind  the  grain. 
Two  teams  were  necessary  to  draw  the  wood  used,  and  four  or  five  coopers  were 


144  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

employed  to  make  barrels  to  contain  the  liquor.  From  thirty  to  sixty  head  of 
cattle  and  about  two  hundred  hogs  were  fed  largely  from  the  refuse  of  the  dis- 
tillery. This  was,  in  many  respects,  the  most  extensive  industry  ever  in  Lima. 
After  about  twelve  years,  the  building  was  rented  by  Robert  Triplettand  Samuel 
Ruick,  who  carried  on  the  same  business  for  a  few  years,  after  which  Mr.  Bur- 
dick  took  control.  But  the  enterprise  was  soon  abandoned,  Mr.  J.  H.  Ladd 
placing  in  the  building  a  turning  lathe,  though  at  the  end  of  a  year  this  busi- 
ness was  discontinued. 

In  about  1838,  Follet  &  Johnson  built  a  tannery  at  Lima,  sinking  some 
fifteen  or  twenty  vats.  They  dressed  large  quantities  of  skins,  selling  the 
leather  both  at  home  and  abroad.  Mr.  Sering  began  making  chairs  about 
thirty  years  ago.  The  old  saw-mill  at  Lima  was  built  in  1831,  by  Lewis  P. 
Judson,  probably,  but  in  1833  it  was  destroyed  by  fire.  About  the  time  the 
saw-mill  was  built,  or  perhaps  a  little  later,  Mr.  Judson  and  William  A.  Mills 
erected  the  grist-mill  that,  under  many  alterations,  is  yet  doing  good  work. 
The  mill  was  conducted  by  Palmer  Grannis  in  1837.  The  mill  in  its  day  has 
been  a  good  one,  and  has  been  a  great  accommodation  to  the  citizens  of  Lima. 
Two  sets  of  buhrs  were  placed  in  at  first.  Many  have  conducted  the  mill ;  but 
all  who  tried  to  carry  on  a  merchant  business,  with  few  exceptions,  have  been 
bankrupted.  When  the  old  saw-mill  was  burned,  another  soon  took  its  place. 
One  was  built  in  about  1846  by  Samuel  Howard  for  John  B.  Howe.  In  1847, 
Alphonso  Martin  built  a  saw-mill  in  Lima,  but  soon  afterward  sold  to  S.  M. 
Cowley.  It  was  finally  thrown  down  by  having  its  supports  washed  away  by 
the  water.  It  is  probable  that  Mr.  Judson  erected  the  saw-mill  that  took  the 
place  of  the  one  destroyed  by  fire,  at  the  same  time  he  built  his  grist-mill. 
Attached  to  the  Martin  Saw-Mill  was  a  shingle  factory,  by  Alvaro  Hunter ; 
also  a  lath-saw  by  S.  M.  Cowley.  Palmer  Grannis  conducted  the  saw-mill  at 
the  "Lima  Mills,  "  and  might  have  erected  the  same.  About  the  same  time, 
John  Shorten  was  conducting  a  harness-shop  there.  A  man  (the  name  is  with- 
held) erected  a  building  16x26  feet,  near  the  mills,  designing  the  same  for  a 
store.  Dry  goods  were  placed  therein,  and,  for  a  time,  things  went  on  nicely  ; 
but  suspicion  fell  upon  the  man,  and  his  building  was  searched,  whereupon 
three  sets  of  counterfeit  dies,  two  for  quarter  dollars  and  one  for  half  dollars, 
were  found,  together  with  about  half  a  peck  of  half-finished  bogus  coin.  Some 
of  the  finished  article  was  also  found,  which  could  not  be  distinguished  by 
novices  from  the  genuine  coin.  It  was  reported  that  some  of  it  had  been 
passed  upon  the  agent  at  Fort  Wayne  for  lands,  and  that  he  took  it  for  genuine 
money.  The  building  was  transformed,  first  into  a  schoolhouse,  and  afterward 
into  a  dwelling  now  occupied  by  Mr.  Doll.  In  1833,  a  brick-yard  was  opened, 
and  a  kiln  burned  on  the  bank  of  Pigeon  River,  half  a  mile  west  of  Lima :  but 
the  soil  was  such  that  the  bricks  were  worthless,  as  they  fell  in  pieces  within  a 
short  time.  Later,  another  kiln  was  burned  a  short  distance  southwest  of  the 
old  foundry. 


LIMA    TOWNSHIP.  145 

In  1854,  Samuel  P.  Williams  and  John  B.  Howe  founded  the  La  Grange 
Bank  at  Lima,  receiving  a  charter  under  the  free  banking  law  of  the  State,  and 
having  a  circulation  of  about  $70,000.  A  good  banking  business  was  done 
until  1857,  when  the  bank  became  a  branch  of  the  State  Bank  of  Indiana,  with 
a  capital  stock  of  $150,000,  which  was  owned  by  twelve  men,  among 
whom  were  John  B.  Howe,  Samuel  P.  Williams,  Samuel  Burnell,  James  B. 
Howe,  Thomas  J.  Spaulding,  S.  Halsey  and  Philo  Nichols.  The  bank 
sustained  itself  easily,  and  the  stockholders  realized  handsome  revenues. 
In  1862,  in  accordance  with  Congressional  enactment  made  at  that  time,  the 
institution  became  a  National  Bank,  with  about  the  same  stockholders,  with  a 
capital  stock  of  $100,000,  continuing  thus  until  1880,  when  a  private  banking 
business  was  begun.  The  same  stockholders,  a  number  of  years  ago,  founded 
the  National  Bank  at  Sturgis,  owning  a  controlling  interest  in  the  stock,  and 
also  bought  largely  of  the  stock  of  the  National  Bank  at  Coldwater,  and  of 
other  banks.  The  bank  at  Lima  is  firmly  founded,  and  has  the  unlimited  con- 
fidence of  the  public. 

The  village  of  Ontario  was  laid  out  by  Nathan  Jenks,  proprietor,  early  in 
March,  1837,  on  the  southwest  quarter  of  Section  33.  There  were  laid  out 
twenty-three  blocks  of  ten  lots  each,  two  blocks  of  five  lots  each,  two  blocks  of 
six  lots  each,  and  a  public  square.  In  June,  1844,  Mr.  Jenks  made  an  addi- 
tion to  the  village  of  ninety-five  lots  of  the  usual  size,  and  seven  large  lots, 
four  of  which  were  north  of  the  river.  The  addition  was  laid  out  between  the 
original  town  and  the  river.  The  first  settler  on  the  present  site  of  Ontario 
was  George  Latterer,  who  built  a  log  cabin  in  1834.  During  the  same  year, 
or  perhaps  during  the  early  part  of  1835,  Henry  Lake  and  Mr.  Gibson 
also  located  there  in  small,  rude  log  dwellings.  At  about  the  same  time,  J.  C. 
Kinney  and  Mr.  Hubbard,  from  Blissfield,  Ohio,  settled  on  the  north  bank  of 
the  river,  and  began  building  the  dam,  which  was  finished  after  a  great  deal  of 
hard  labor ;  when  it  was  completed,  which  was  the  same  season,  a  saw-mill  was 
immediately  built  on  the  south  bank,  having  one  of  the  old-fashioned  up-and- 
down  saws.  About  this  time,  or  a  little  later,  a  Mr.  Allen  came  there  from 
Ohio,  with  a  small  set  of  "  niggerhead  "  buhrs,  and  effected  a  contract  by 
which  the  power  operating  the  saw-mill  was  also  connected  by  belts  with  the 
machinery  which  ran  the  stones.  Here  was  ground  the  first  grain  in  Ontario. 
Allen  had  hard  luck  for  some  time ;  he  suffered  with  ague  and  fever,  and  lost 
money,  and  thus  became  so  discouraged  that  one  night  he  took  the  pillow 
case  from  under  his  head,  went  down  to  the  mill  dam,  filled  the  case  partly  full 
of  sand,  tied  it  up  and  attached  it  with  a  stout  cord  to  his  person,  and  plunged 
into  the  mill-flume.  He  was  found  dead  in  the  flume  early  the  next  morning 
by  Mr.  Kinney's  son,  who  was  sent  to  call  him  to  breakfast.  His  clothes  and 
hat  were  first  noticed  lying  on  the  bank.  The  old  saw-mill  was  quite  well 
patronized,  the  work  being  done  mostly  on  shares.  Blisha  Thorp,  who  hauled 
logs  there  with  a  team  consisting  of  six  ponies,  owned  a  wagon,  the  wheels  of 


146  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

which  were  made  of  huge,  solid,  wooden  cross-sections  of  some  large  log.  In 
1836,  Nathan  Jenks  purchased  the  mill  property,  at  which  time  he  stated  that 
it  was  his  intention  to  secure  an  act  of  the  Legislature  to  charter  a  company 
who  should  bear  the  expense  of  conducting  the  water-power  created  by  the 
dam  at  Ontario,  from  the  latter  place,  through  a  long  race,  to  Lima.  The  act 
was  passed  by  the  Legislature,  the  location  of  the  race  was  staked  off,  sub- 
scription books  were  opened  and  liberally  signed  by  the  citizens  of  Lima ;  but 
for  some  reason  unknown  to  the  writer,  and  to  most  of  all  the  old  settlers,  Mr. 
Jenks  subscribed  a  controlling  interest  in  the  stock,  and  abandoned  the  project 
without  further  ado,  greatly  to  the  regret  of  Lima.  It  is  thought  by  the 
writer  that,  as  Mr.  Jenks  was  dissatisfied  about  this  time  with  the  offers  made 
him  by  Lima  to  induce  him  to  locate  the  '"  La  Grange  Collegiate  Institute  " 
there  instead  of  at  Ontario,  and  as  he  refused  to  accept  their  proffered  assist- 
ance as  being  not  an  adequate  consideration,  this  had  something  to  do  with 
his  action  in  canceling  what  had  been  done  toward  continuing  the  water-power 
to  Lima. 

The  real  facts  could  not  be  ascertained  why  Mr.  Jenks  so  completely 
*•'  squelched  "  the  work  on  the  race.  It  is  also  stated  that,  about  this  time,  the 
surveyors  of  the  proposed  Buffalo  &  Mississippi  Railroad  surveyed  a  route  east 
and  west,  a  short  distance  south  of  Ontario,  and  that  Mr.  Jenks  thought  that, 
by  building  up  Ontario  at  the  expense  of  Lima,  he  could,  in  the  end,  succeed 
in  securing  the  removal  of  the  county  seat  from  the  latter  village  to  the  former  ; 
and  that,  therefore,  he  located  the  Institute  at  Ontario,  set  aside  the  work  on 
the  race,  and  did  all  he  could  to  kill  Lima  and  infuse  vitality  into  Ontario. 
In  that  day,  as  steam  had  not  come  into  general  use  in  mills,  a  good  water- 
power  was  alone  sufficient  to  insure  the  building  of  quite  a  town.  More  on 
this  subject  will  be  found  in  other  parts  of  this  volume. 

Mr.  Jenks  built  the  present  mill-race  at  Ontario  and,  in  about  1843, 
erected  the  large  grist-mill,  that,  in  its  time,  was  one  of  the  best  ever  in  the 
county.  It  cost  about  $10,000.  The  building  was  four  stories  in  height  and 
in  it  were  placed  four  sets  of  French  buhrs.  Others  were  afterward  added. 
The  mill  was  so  well  patronized  that  it  was  found  profitable  to  run  it  day  and 
night  and  two  sets  of  mill  hands  were  employed.  The  work  increased  until 
some  thirty  thousand  barrels  of  excellent  flour  were  shipped,  by  wagon,  to 
market  in  one  year.  This  infused  life  into  various  other  industries,  such  as 
cooper  shops,  stave  factories,  etc.  Ontario  grew  very  rapidly  at  first.  C.  W. 
Wilson  probably  erected  the  third  or  fourth  house  in  the  village.  Mr.  Codding 
also  erected  an  early  one.  In  1838,  there  were  living  in  the  village  the  families 
of  Messrs.  Salmon,  Seymour,  Mills,  Hawley,  Bassett,  Jenks,  Wilson,  Doolittle, 
Codding,  Field  and  five  or  six  others.  However,  two  or  three  of  these  were 
unmarried.  In  1840,  at  least  twenty-five  families  lived  in  Ontario,  represent- 
ing a  population  of  about  120.  Perhaps  at  no  time  has  the  population  ex- 
ceeded 300. 


LIMA    TOWNSHIP.  147 

In  August,  1838,  Jenks  &  Fields  built  a  storeroom  and  began  selling  goods 
from  a  stock  valued  at  about  $5,000.  They  were  purchased  in  New  York, 
shipped  to  Toledo,  and  from  there  drawn  to  Ontario  by  wagon.  At  the  end  of 
two  years,  Nathan  Jenks  sold  his  interest  to  W.  C.  Jenks,  and  two  years 
later  the  goods  were  sold  at  auction.  Boyd  &  McCoy  conducted  a  good  store 
about  this  time.  Jenks  &  Wright  opened  a  store  about  1843,  with  about  $1,000 
worth  of  goods.  They  dealt  in  cattle,  losing  considerable  money,  and  closed 
their  store,  in  consequence,  two  years  later.  Robert  Dykes  began  selling  goods 
in  about  1844,  from  a  stock  worth  probably  $6,000.  This  was  about  the  best 
store  ever  in  Ontario.  Hestus  &  Hamilton  owned  a  store  in  the  village. 
Among  other  merchants,  have  been  Charles  and  Anson  Vaughan,  George  Mal- 
low, Aaron  Mallow,  John  Scott,  Rufus  Herrick,  Jenks  &  McKinley,  Turley  & 
Parish,  William  Scott,  Mr.  Dickinson,  W.  H.  Hendricks,  and  Timothy  Field, 
who  again  began  eleven  years  ago,  continuing  until  the  present.  The  Vaughan 
boys  conducted  a  good  store.  George  Mallow  was  shot  by  Stephen  Jenks  (not 
a  relative  of  Nathan  Jenks j.  The  cause  is  not  clearly  known.  Jenks  was  tried 
for  the  crime,  convicted  and  sentenced  for  life  to  the  penitentiary.  Warren 
Green  was  probably  the  first  Vulcan  in  the  village.  Doolittle,  Wilson,  Bassett 
and  Mills  were  carpenters,  and  the  first.  Among  the  village  physicians  have 
been  Messrs.  Bassinger,  Dayton  (a  good  one),  Sargent,  Jenks,  Evans,  Pendle- 
ton, Jenkins  and  Newton. 

Ontario  saw  its  best  days  between  1850  and  1864.  Franklin  Duncan 
opened  a  hotel  not  far  from  1840.  L.  M.  Abbott  did  the  same  about  six  or 
eight  years  later.  Ontario  was  the  northern  terminus  of  the  famous  plank 
road  that  was  built  about  1848-49  and  kept  up  some  ten  or  twelve  years. 
George  Mallow  sold  liquor  at  an  early  day.  Alanson  Beers  was  the  first  Post- 
master. Uncle  Sam's  agents  since  then  have  been  Robert  Dykes,  James 
Turley,  Mrs.  Farrand,  0.  W.  Parish,  Henry  Grannis  and  Timothy  Field. 
Charles  Miller  owned  a  fine  hotel,  which  was  destroyed  by  fire.  The  Good 
Templars  organized  a  lodge  in  about  1856,  continuing  two  or  three  years. 

A  little  later  than  1860  (Henry)  Jenks  &  McKinley  purchased  the  grist- 
mill owned  by  Nathan  Jenks ;  but  three  years  later,  Henry  Jenks  sold  his 
interest  to  his  partner.  The  mill  was  finally  mortgaged  to  Mr.  Blodgett,  into 
whose  control  it  passed  in  about  1878-79 ;  but  it  soon  after  was  purchased  by 
Alexander  Beach,  upon  whose  hands  it  burned  down  about  a  year  ago.  This 
was  a  serious  loss,  not  only  to  the  owner  but  to  the  village.  In  1842,  L.  M. 
Abbott  erected  a  woolen  factory,  the  entire  cost,  including  the  water-power, 
etc.,  amounting  to  about  $10,000.  The  building,  three  and  a  half  stories 
high,  and  thirty-six  by  forty  feet,  alone  cost  $6,000.  Two  sets  of  machines 
for  custom  work  were  placed  in  the  building,  as  was  also  one  for  the  manufact- 
ure of  flannels,  fulled  cloths,  satinets,  cassimeres,  etc.  From  8,000  to  10,000 
pounds  of  wool  were  handled  annually,  the  work  being  done  mostly  on  shares. 
The  various   kinds  of  cloth  were   kept   for   sale  in  a  small  storeroom.     After 


148  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

four  years,  the  factory  was  bought  by  Nathan  Jenks  and  Andrew  Dutcher,  who 
added  several  power- looms  and  other  machinery.  They  continued  from  three 
to  five  years,  and  then  rented  to  James  Scott,  who  continued  on  through  the  last 
war,  making  a  great  deal  of  money.  At  the  close  of  the  war,  between  $5,000 
and $6,000  worth  of  new  machinery  took  the  place  of  the  old;  but  hard  times 
came  on,  and  the  factory  was  mortgaged  to  Dr.  Dayton,  and  perhaps  others.  It 
finally  went  to  Dr.  Dayton,  who  rented  it  to  Chapman  &  Chess.  Two  years 
later,  Joseph  J.  Scott  rented  it,  and  about  the  1st  of  January,  1882,  bought  it. 
Charles  Doolittle,  who  owned  part  of  the  water-power,  built  a  cabinet  shop  not 
far  from  1847.  He  made  a  goodly  number  of  bureaus,  chairs,  tables,  bedsteads, 
etc.,  and  added  a  turning  lathe.  Daniel  McKinley,  about  the  same  time  or  a 
little  later,  built  a  tannery  on  the  race,  and  sank  some  twenty-five  vats.  He 
dressed  large  quantities  of  skins,  and  in  the  upper  story  of  the  building  manu- 
factured boots  and  shoes.  George  Mallow  also  conducted  a  tannery,  employing 
about  four  workmen.  It  was  afterward  owned  by  Sol.  Liphart,  and  later  was 
turned  into  an  ashery,  where  potash  was  manufactured.  Argus  McKinley 
erected  a  small  building  on  the  race,  not  far  from  1850,  and  began  manufact- 
uring buckskin  gloves,  mittens,  etc. ;  his  sales  running  up  during  the  year  to 
about  $4,000.  He  carried  on  the  business  three  or  four  years.  The  old  tan. 
nery  was  finally  turned  into  a  barrel-stave  factory.  He  made  large  numbers  o 
excellent  flour  barrels  that  were  used  in  the  grist-mill.  Keith  &  Son  trans- 
formed the  old  shoe  shop  into  a  sash,  door  and  blind  factory.  John  Shingler 
manufactured  wagons  ten  or  twelve  years.  In  about  1850,  Carlos  Jenks  and 
a  Mr.  Wright  opened  a  factory  for  the  manufacture  of  saleratus  from  potash 
and  pearlash.  But  little  was  done,  however.  About  the  same  time,  or  perhaps 
earlier,  Carlos  Jenks  attempted  to  introduce  the  manufacture  of  silk.  He 
planted  mulberry  seed  to  raise  plants,  the  leaves  of  which  were  to  be  used 
as  food  by  the  caterpillar  of  the  silk  moth  Bomhyx  mori.  Pupce  of  this  moth 
were  obtained  from  Roop  &  Mosher,  who  came  from  the  East ;  but  about  this 
time  neither  the  mulberry  seed  nor  the  pupce  did  as  had  been  expected,  and 
within  two  years  the  whole  project  was  abandoned.  It  was  about  this  time  that 
the  locust  tree  [Bobinia  pseudacicia)  was  introduced  into  the  county  for  the 
first.  The  first  newspaper  in  the  county  was  published  at  Ontario,  and  after- 
ward at  Lima.  Full  account  of  this  will  be  found  elsewhere.  Charles  Doolit- 
tle has  resided  in  Ontario  longer  than  any  other  person.  He  has  for  many 
years  been  dealing  in  furniture,  for  the  manufacture  of  which  he  has  a  shop. 
George  Mallow  conducted  a  tailor  shop  in  the  village  about  forty  years  ago. 

In  1833,  a  small  log  schoolhouse  was  built  about  a  quarter  of  a  mile  south- 
east of  Lima.  Here  it  was  that  John  B.  Howe  taught  the  first  school  in  the 
county.  The  house  was  a  most  rude  affair,  with  three  or  four  small  windows,  a 
huge  fire-place  and  a  few  rough  desks  and  benches.  Some  eighteen  or  twenty 
scholars  were  in  attendance,  and  the  teacher  was  paid  some  $10  or  $12 
per  month  for  his  services.     Mr.  Howe  says  that  the  funds  from  which  he  was 


LIMA    TOWNSHIP.  149 

paid  were  either  raised  by  ordinary  taxation,  or  from  the  sale  or  other  disposal 
of  Section  16.  It  was  not  a  subscription  school.  All  accounts  and  reports 
agree  in  saying  that  Frederick  Hamilton  taught  the  second  term  in  the  same 
house.  After  about  1835,  no  other  terms  were  taught  there,  but  school  was 
held  in  several  vacant  buildings.  At  last,  a  frame  schoolhouse  was  erected 
where  the  depot  now  stands,  and  was  used  until  the  beginning  of  the  last  war. 
Among  the  early  teachers  at  Lima  were  T.  H.  Codding,  Nelson  Prentiss,  Rev. 
Christopher  Cory,  Mr.  Seymour,  Hugh  Hamilton,  William  Hamilton,  Miss 
Sarah  Smith,  Miss  Eunice  Moore,  Miss  Laura  Brown,  Mrs.  Dr.  Butler  and 
others.  Before  the  house  at  the  depot  was  built,  school  was  held,  among  other 
places,  at  Mr.  Cory's  residence,  in  the  Presbyterian  Church,  in  the  court 
house,  and  in  private  dwellings.  After  the  county  seat  was  removed  to  La 
Grange,  the  court  house  was  used  for  a  schoolhouse,  and  for  a  hotel.  Among 
the  teachers  were  Miss  Julia  Sanborn,  Mrs.  J.  M.  Flagg,  Miss  Almena  Mason 
and  Miss  Lucinda  Keith.  The  teachers  were  usually  paid  by  rate-bills.  The 
house  at  the  depot  was  built  with  funds  donated  by  S.  P.  Williams,  John  B. 
Howe,  H.  W.  Wood,  Abram  Nipp,  William  Ingraham,  J.  C.  Kinney  and 
others.  It  cost  about  $500.  On  one  occasion,  this  building  was  struck  by 
lightning  during  a  thunder  storm,  while  it  was  filled  with  children.  The 
building  was  shattered,  and  about  a  dozen  of  the  children  scattered.  Two  boys 
were  quite  badly  burned,  but  soon  recovered. 

In  1855,  Samuel  P.  Williams,  assisted  somewhat  by  the  citizens,  erected  a 
frame  building  at  a  cost  of  $2,500,  designing  the  same  for  a  young  ladies' 
seminary.  Miss  Eliza  Dimond,  a  graduate  of  Mount  Holyoke  Seminary,  and  a 
lady  of  unusual  talent  and  culture,  was  employed  to  take  charge  of  the  sem- 
inary. She  was  assisted  by  Miss  Julietta  L.  Oaks,  and  by  Miss  Mary  A. 
Sherring,  teacher  of  music  and  drawing.  Mr.  Williams  collected  the  tuition, 
and  paid  Miss  Dimond  about  $300  per  annum.  The  school  was  barely  self- 
supporting.  Miss  Dimond  fixed  the  tuition  as  follows :  Common  English 
branches,  $3  ;  higher  English  branches,  $4  ;  Latin  (extra),  $2  ;  French  (extra), 
$2  ;  penciling,  $2  ;  Monochromatic,  $5  ;  Crayolithic,  $7  ;  Pastel,  $7  ;  piano,  with 
use  of  instrument,  $10  ;  melodeon,  with  use  of  instrument,  $10.  Miss  Dimond 
was  one  of  the  many  young  ladies  sent  out  to  teach  by  Gov.  Slade,  of  Connec- 
ticut. From  twenty-five  to  sixty  young  ladies  were  in  attendance.  Mr.  Will- 
iams donated  the  land  where  the  house  stood  to  be  used  only  for  school  pur- 
poses, in  any  other  case  to  revert  to  himself.  In  1862,  the  seminary  was  sold 
to  the  village,  and  used  as  a  public  schoolhouse  until  the  present  fine  school 
structure  was  erected  at  a  cost  of  over  $20,000.  It  was  built  in  1874-75. 
The  funds  to  build  the  house  were  raised  by  issuing  certificates,  drawing  inter- 
est, to  be  paid  from  school-money,  obtained  by  levying  a  tax  on  the  property 
of  the  township  not  to  exceed  a  certain  specified  per  cent  per  annum.  The 
house  has  already  cost  twice  as  much  as  was  expected,  and  several  thousand 
dollars  are  yet  to  be  paid.     Mr.  Howe  gave  $2,500  toward  the  house  in  addi- 


150  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

tion  to  his  tax.  Mr.  Burnell  also  gave  liberally.  The  house  is  one  of  the 
finest  in  Northern  Indiana.  Lima  has  always  had  good  schools  and  good 
morals. 

In  1835,  a  small  log  schoolhouse  was  built  at  what  afterward  became  On- 
tario. It  was  a  small,  insignificant-looking  structure,  and  was  located  about 
twenty  rods  southwest  of  the  present  mill-dam.  The  seats  were  slabs,  with 
long  wooden  pins,  driven  into  auger  holes,  for  legs,^and  the  desks  were  made  by 
driving  strong  pieces  of  wood  horizontally  into  mortises  in  the  walls,  the  other 
end  being  supported  by  a  strong  leg,  and  a  slab  being  placed  upon  two  of  these 
contrivances,  to  be  used  as  desks.  A  huge  fire-place  graced  one  end  of  the  room, 
the  smoke  and  flame  passing  up  a  broad  chimney  built  of  sticks  and  plastered 
with  clay  mortar.  The  first  teacher  was  an  English  lady  from  White  Pigeon, 
Mich.  She  taught  twelve  or  fourteen  scholars  until  within  a  short  time 
before  the  close  of  her  three  months'  term,  when  the  house  was  destroyed  by 
fire.  In  about  1840,  a  small  frame  schoolhouse  was  built  in  Ontario  at  a  cost 
of  $500.  It  was  used  until  a  few  years  before  the  last  war,  when  the  present 
two-storied  frame  building  was  constructed.  It  cost  about  $800,  and,  though 
remodeled  several  times  since,  is  yet  in  use.  About  the  year  1836,  or  a  little 
later,  Nathan  Jenks  founded  the  "La  Grange  Collegiate  Institute."  The  idea 
had  its  origin  at  Victor,  N.  Y.,  as  early  as  1835,  at  which  place  it  was  resolved  to 
establish  such  an  institution  somewhere  in  the  West,  by  a  number  of  prominent 
men,  among  whom  were  Nathan  Jenks,  Elisha  Dickinson  and  others.  A  number 
of  these  men  came  to  the  vicinity  of  Ontario  during  the  year  1836,  where  they 
purchased  land  and  settled.  Here  the  plan  was  perfected  to  build  a  literary 
institution  modeled  after  the  then  Oberlin  Institute  of  Ohio.  So  far  as  known, 
the  first  public  meeting  was  h-eld  at  the  residence  of  Lewis  Vance,  Lima,  on  the 
6th  of  February,  1837,  at  which  time  it  was  resolved,  "that,  in  view  of  the  pros- 
pects before  us,  we  are  warranted  in  undertaking  to  establish  a  literary  institution 
to  be  located  in  this  neighborhood,  to  be  denominated  the  '  La  Grange  Collegiate 
Institute.'"  Joshua  T.  Hobbs,  Nathan  Jenks,  Mills  Averill,  Elisha  Dickinson, 
Thayer  H.  Codding,  Ansel  Dickinson  and  Rev.  John  J.  Shipherd  were  selected 
and  recommended  as  a  Board  of  Trustees.  At  this  meeting,  offers  of  assistance 
of  money,  lands  and  labor  were  freely  given,  and  the  outlook  seemed  promising. 
At  the  same  time  a  prospectus  was  framed  and  adopted,  setting  forth  that  the 
institution  should  be  modeled  after  the  Oberlin  Institute,  that  its  course  of  instruc- 
tions should  embrace  five  departments,  as  follows:  A  preparatory  or  academ- 
ical school,  a  collegiate  course,  a  full  theological  course,  an  irregular,  or  shorter 
course,  for  those  advanced  in  life  or  in  peculiar  circumstances,  and  a  thorough 
course  of  female  education ;  that  "  the  several  courses  of  study  should  be  de- 
cidedly of  a  Christian  character,  to  the  exclusion  of  demoralizing  pagan  authors 
and  sectarian  principles;"  that  the  manual  labor  system  should  be  incorporated 
in  all  the  scientific  departments;  and  that  "a  liberal  charter  should  be  obtained 
as  soon  as  may  be,  empowering  the  trustees  to  fill  their  own  vacancies."    It  was 


LIMA    TOWNSHIP.  151 

also  decided  that  the  institute  should  be  founded  upon  this,  that  "  corporate 
bodies  and  public  institutions,  no  less  than  individuals,  are  bound  to  do  right, 
irrespective  of  worldly  expediencies,  popular  favor,  or  any  consequences.  There- 
fore, this  institution  will  allow  free  discussion  and  openly  sustain  the  great  moral 
enterprises  of  the  day,  such  as  revivals,  temperance  in  all  things,  the  sanctifi- 
cation  of  the  Sabbath,  moral  reform,  Christian  union  and  human  rights  under 
whatever  color  or  circumstances.  As  this  is  a  great  work  of  public  utility, 
which  cannot  be  done  by  individual  enterprise,  the  liberal  co-operation  of  the 
philanthropic  and  pious  is  solicited."  Two  days  later,  the  trustees  located  the 
proposed  institute  at  Ontario,  just  across  the  line,  in  Bloomfield  Township. 
Nathan  Jenks  had  at  his  disposal  $5,000  (whether  his  individual  property  or 
that  of  the  men  in  the  East  is  not  known),  which  he  offered  as  a  conditional 
subscription  toward  the  erection  of  the  building,  provided  an  additional  $10,000 
could  be  raised  by  the  citizens.  In  May,  1837,  it  was  ordered  that  a  frame 
building,  18x26  feet,  be  erected,  to  serve  as  a  workshop  for  the  erection  of  the 
main  structure  and  to  be  used  later  as  a  preparatory  school-room  and  dormitory. 
In  this  building  C.  W.  Wilson  and  his  wife,  Beulah  Wilson,  taught  during  the 
winter  of  1837-38,  the  lady  continuing  until  July  4,  "  when  that  terrible  sickly 
season  came  on,  stopping  all  business  before  the  10th.  From  the  20th,  there 
was  only  one  man — Mr.  Salmon — able  to  go  round  to  the  fifteen  or  eighteen 
families,  and  he  only  just  able  to  carry  a  pitcher  of  water  to  each."*  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  Wilson  also  taught  the  succeeding  winter  in  the  same  building.  During 
the  year  1837,  the  funds  were  secured,  and  in  June  such  advance  had  been 
made  that  it  was  determined  to  erect  a  frame  building,  50x60  feet,  three  stories 
in  height.  The  frame  was  raised  about  the  Ist  of  August,  but  the  building  was 
not  wholly  completed  until  1840.  It  was  used,  however,  in  1839.  During  the 
years  1837  and  1838,  strong  inducements  were  held  out  to  the  founder  to  in- 
duce him  to  locate  the  institute  at  Lima.  He  was  offered  thirty  village  lots, 
an  eighty  acre  tract  of  land  at  half-price,  adjoining  the  village,  for  a  site, 
besides  a  considerable  sum  of  money,  grain  on  the  ground,  etc.,  privately  sub- 
scribed by  the  citizens  of  Lima.  This  offer  was  rejected,  but  was  afterward 
somewhat  favorably  reconsidered,  when  some  changes  were  made  in  the  offer, 
until  finally  the  negotiations  ceased  and  the  house  was  finished  at  Ontario.  The 
following  proceedings  relative  to  this  topic  are  recorded  on  the  trustees'  books: 
"This  proposition  not  being  considered  equal  to  Nathan  Jenks'  pledge  of 
$10,000,  and  in  view  of  our  having  a  flourishing  school  in  operation,  number- 
ing from  fifty  to  sixty  students  and  a  building  erected  worth  about  $4,000,  the 
proposition  was  rejected  by  a  unanimous  vote."  On  the  13th  of  February, 
1840,  the  incorporating  act  passed  by  the  Indiana  Legislature  was  approved  by 
the  Governor.  Nathan  Jenks,  Joshua  T.  Hobbs,  Thayer  H.  Codding,  Aaron 
Thompson,  Rev.  Christopher  Cory,  Joel  K.  Salmon,  Cyrill  W.  Wilson,  Charles 
Mosher  and  their  associates  and  successors  were  created  a  body  politic  and  cor- 

*0.  W.  Wilson,  Rockford,  111.,  May,  1872. 


152  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

porate,  to  be  styled  the  "Board  of  Trustees  of  the  La  Grange  Collegiate  Insti- 
tute." On  the  21st  of  October,  1839,  the  institute  was  formally  opened  by 
W.  J.  Baxter,  Principal,  in  charge  of  the  then  only  course — Preparatory.  The 
building  cost  about  $4,000.  The  $10,000  (only  partly  paid)  raised  by  sub- 
scription in  1866-67  was  employed  as  an  endowment  fund,  drawing  interest, 
and  as  fast  as  the  notes  were  redeemed  the  money  was  reloaned.  In  this  man- 
ner, and  by  means  of  a  small  tuition  and  the  rent  of  lands,  buildings,  etc.,  the 
expense  of  carrying  on  the  school  was  defrayed.  From  25  to  125  students  were 
in  attendance  annually  during  the  continuance  of  the  institute,  and  more  than 
2,000  names  of  students  are  on  its  catalogue.  The  Principals  in  charge  of  the 
institute  were  as  follows:  Cyrill  W.  Wilson,  1838-39,  one  year;  Witter  J. 
Baxter,  1839-40,  one  year;  Rev.  John  D.  Skelly,  1840-41,  one  year;  Rev. 
Julius  Steele,  A.  M.,  1841-42,  two  terms;  Henry  Steele,  1842,  one  term; 
Rev.  William  Jones,  A.  M.,  1842-44,  one  and  one-third  years;  Edward  Brown, 
1843,  one  term ;  Rufus  Patch,  A.  M.,  1844-49,  five  and  one-eighth  years ;  Rev. 
A.  H.  Kerr,  A.  M.,  1849-50,  two  terms;  Rufus  Patch,  A.  M.,  1850-56,  six 
years;  Rev.  Henry  C.  Morse,  A.  M.,  1856-57,  one  and  one-third  years  ;  A.  Gr. 
Van  Etten,  1858,  one  term;  Frank  Cotton,  1859-60,  one  year;  interregnum, 
one  and  one-half  years;  Rufus  Patch,  A.  M.,  1862-79,  sixteen  years. 

It  may  be  justly  said  that  the  institute,  during  the  long  period  of  its  con- 
tinuance, did  a  great  deal  for  the  morality  and  education  of  La  Grange  County. 
Its  presence  at  Ontario  attracted  wide  attention,  and  directed  capital,  intelli- 
gence and  energy  to  that  point,  that  otherwise  would  have  passed  on  to  distant 
places.  Ontario  became  noted  for  its  thrift,  intelligence,  morals  and  general 
excellence.  Its  literary  societies  are  highly  spoken  of,  and  are  remembered  as 
sanguinary  ground  for  the  intellectual  encounters  that  occurred.  Neighboring 
towns  were  green  with  jealousy,  and  coveted  the  really  excellent  effects  the 
presence  of  the  Institute  insured. 

"  With  the  multiplication  of  village  high  schools,  and  the  improved 
facilities  for  imparting  classical  instruction  in  the  preparatory  departments  of 
neighboring  colleges,  the  field  of  patronage  of  the  Institute  at  length  became 
so  limited  that  its  affairs  were  placed  in  the  hands  of  a  receiver  and  wound  up 
in  1881." 

*  "  In  the  month  of  July,  1832,  Rev.  Christopher  Cory  preached  in 
Lima,  in  the  open  air,  having  a  stump  for  his  pulpit.  From  this  time  onward 
he  continued  his  labors,  preaching  in  private  houses,  schoolhouse  and  elsewhere, 
until  November,  1833,  at  which  time  he  organized  the  Presbyterian  Church  of 
Lima.  The  first  members  were  Samuel  Cory,  Phebe  Cory,  Mary  A.  Cory, 
Aaron  Cary,  Phebe  Cary,  Abigail  McNeal,  Elizabeth  Blair,  Anna  Blair, 
Elizabeth  C.  Blair,  Martha  Gale,  Catherine  P.  Judson,  Emeline  Cory  and 
Elizabeth  Miller.  Samuel  Cory  and  Aaron  Cary  were  elected  Elders.  Rev- 
Mr.  Cory  continued  his  pastoral  labors,  and  by  1834   had   organized    two  or 

*  John  P.  Jones. 


LIMA    TOWNSHIP.  153 

three  other  societies  in  other  neighborhoods.  By  1839,  some  149  persons 
had  been  received  into  the  church,  many  of  whom  were  dismissed  to  form  the 
other  societies.  Rev.  R.  L.  Sears  took  charge  of  the  Lima  society  in  1842  ; 
After  him  came  Revs.  S.  E.  Lane,  H.  C.  Morse  and  D.  C.  Meeker.  The 
first  church,  a  small  frame,  was  dedicated  February  15,  1843.  In  1855,  the 
membership  was  72.  Rev.  A.  S.  Wells  was  pastor  in  1851 ;  after  him  came 
Rev.  Lewis  Hamilton,  who,  a  short  time  ago,  was  killed  in  Colorado  by  a 
switch-engine ;  Rev.  B.  Farrand  was  pastor  for  a  time,  beginning  in  1859,  and 
continuing  until  1864  ;  then  came  Rev.  W.  Pattinson,  who  served  until  1869  ; 
then  Revs.  C.  M.  Temple,  T.  E.  Hughes,  J.  M.  Drake;  and  T.  E.  Hughes 
since  1873.  Present  membership,  about  70.  The  Sabbath  school  numbers 
about  150 ;  W.  B.  Cory,  Superintendent. 

"  Rev.  Leonard  B.  Gurley  organized  the  Methodist  Church,  at  Lima,  in 
the  house  of  Robert  Hamilton,  in  1831 — the  first  religious  society  organized 
in  the  county.  The  class  consisted  of  six  members,  two  of  whom  were  Robert 
Hamilton  and  wife.  Ministers  served  the  society  regularly,  and  the  class  grew 
and  thrived.  The  church  was  built  in  1847 ;  present  membership  is  70 ; 
Rev.  J,  K.  Watts,  Pastor;  Mr.  Duck  is  Superintendent  of  the  Sunday  school. 
Rev.  R.  S.  Robinson  was  pastor  in  1836 ;  then  came  Revs.  G.  M.  Beswick, 
Erastus  Kellogg,  Warren  Griffith,  Mr.  Sanford,  R.  C.  Weeks,  G.  M.  Boyd, 
William  Jenkins,  Wade  Posey,  L.   L.  Allen,   Enoch  Holdstock,  G.  H.  Hard, 

W.  J.  Forbes,  J.  C.  M ,  E.  Doud,  W.  B.  Storux,  J.  P.  Jones,  Benjamin 

Winans,  I.  M.  Stagg,  J.  J.  Cooper,  E.  S.  Preston,  Emanuel  Hall,  W.  S. 
Birch,  Isaac  Ayres,  D.  P.  Hartman,  Thomas  Colclazion,  J.  P.  Force,  W.  F. 
Hemminway,  G.  W.  Newton,  C.  P.  Wright,  J.  Edwards,  A.  V.  Gorell,  J.  P. 
Greer,  and  the  present  minister,  Mr.  Watts. 

"  The  Baptist  Church  at  Lima  was  organized  in  the  schoolhouse,  Sep- 
tember 24,  1846,  with  fourteen  members — Enoch  Leighton,  Phebe  Leighton, 
Josiah  Shumway,  Lydia  Shumway,  Oliver  Smith,  Polly  Smith,  Abbott  Flem- 
ing, Margaret  Fleming,  Cyrus  Sprague,  Oliver  Cowan,  Sally  Cowan,  Charlotte 
Flagg,  Margaret  Winnie  and  Mary  J.  Thrall.  Ten  of  the  above  are  dead. 
The  society  occupied  the  schoolhouse  until  1853,  when  their  present  house  of 
worship  was  erected.     The    following    ministers  have    served     the    society : 

Revs.  Cook,  Spear,  Fleming,    Fish,    Bailey,    Briggs, ,  Chafi'ee,  Lamb, 

Keene,  Latham,  Stevens  and  Childs.  Accessions  to  the  society,  129  by  bap- 
tism ;  104  by  letter  and  experience ;  removals  by  death  and  dismissal,  193. 
Elder  A.  Fleming  served  the  class  from  1851  to  1855,  the  longest  pastorate. 
In  1853,  Elder  D.  S.  Dean,  evangelist,  held  an  important  revival,  many  join- 
ing, and  the  other  societies  sharing  in  the  results.  Elder  Fleming  preached 
the  first  sermon  in  the  church.  In  1881,  he  preached  in  the  same  house  the 
Garfield  memorial  sermon. 

"  Bishop  Philander  Chase  was  the  first  minister  of  the  Protestant  Episco- 
pal Church  who  preached  in  Lima.     He  was  the  first  Bishop  of  the  Diocese 


154  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

of  Ohio.  He  preached  at  Lima  as  early  as  1834,  but  resided  in  Michigan. 
In  1836-37,  Rev.  Mr.  Whitesides  preached  every  alternate  Sunday  at  Lima. 
The  church  was  established  at  Lima  in  1851,  and  the  church  building  erected 
in  1852.     The  first  settled  minister  was  Rev.  John  0.  Barton. 

"  The  Congregational  Church  at  Ontario  was  first  organized  as  a  Pres- 
byterian Church  in  April,  1840,  by  Revs.  Stephen  Thompson  and  Christopher 
Cory.  The  change  in  the  form  of  government  was  made  in  March,  1843,  by 
a  unanimous  vote  of  the  members.  It,  however,  retained  its  connection  with 
the  Presbytery  until  1854.  For  fourteen  years,  services  were  held  in  the  chapel 
of  the  institute.  In  1854,  the  present  church  building  was  erected.  Some 
200  accessions  have  been  made  to  the  membership,  seven  of  whom  have  become 
ministers.  The  resident  pastors  have  been  Stephen  Thompson,  D.  M.  Bard- 
well,  C.  M.  Morehouse,  A.  G.  Martin,  H.  C.  Morse,  E.  Halliday  and  W.  E. 
Catlin.  The  following  Presbyterian  ministers  also  served  the  society  :  A.  S. 
Wells,  Lewis  Hamilton,  B.  Farrand,  W.  Pattinson  and  J.  M.  Drake.  Great 
revivals  were  held  by  Morehouse,  Farrand  and  Pattinson. 

"  The  nucleus  of  what  is  now  the  Methodist  Church  at  Ontario  was 
formed  by  the  organization  of  a  class  consisting  of  eight  members,  by  Rev.  G. 
M.  Boyd.  Charles  Doolittle  was  one  of  this  number,  as  were  also  Joseph 
Wilson  and  wife.  Services  were  held  in  the  institute  and  in  the  public  school- 
house  until  the  erection  of  the  present  church.  Rev.  H.  B.  Hunt  preaches  to 
the  class  every  alternate  Sunday.  Lima  Township  is  well  supplied  with 
religious  privileges." 


CHAPTER     VIII. 

by  weston  a.  goodspeed. 

Johnson  Township— The  Earliest  Settlers— The  First  Election— The 
Tamarack— Wright's  Corners  and  Valentine— Incidents  and  Advent- 
ures—Rise AND  Subsequent  Growth  of  Wolcottville— Industrial 
Interests— The  Wolcottville  Seminary— Miss  Susan  Griggs— Educa- 
tion AND  Religion. 

JOHNSON  is  decidedly  the  lake  township  of  the  county.  No  other  has 
such  a  number  nor  such  a  variety,  as  there  are  some  fifteen  either  wholly 
or  partly  within  the  township  limits.  Oliver  Lake  is  the  largest,  covering 
about  six  hundred  acres,  while  Adams  is  perhaps  second  in  size,  though 
Witmer  and  Atwood  are  almost  as  large.  Several  of  them  have  fine 
gravelly,  or  sandy,  shores,  and  all  are  bordered  by  beautiful  clusters  of  oak, 
maple  or  beech.  There  is  great  diversity  in  the  soil  which,  in  some  places,  is 
deep  and  black,  like  that  in  States  farther  west,  while  in  other  places  it  is 
sandy,  gravelly,  or  even  stony. 

Nelson  Nichols  and  Peter  Lampson  were  the  first  two  settlers  in  the  town- 
ship, both  coming  in  June,  1834,  the  former  entering  his  land  (160  acres  on 
Section  34)  on  the  23d  of  the  same  month,  and  the  latter  (eighty  acres  on  Sec- 
tion 33)  on  the  30th.  John  Adams  came  to  the  township  in  November,  1834, 
entering  his  land  (on  the  shore  of  the  lake  that  took  its  name  from  him)  on  the 
15th  of  the  same  month.  These  three  were  the  only  men  who  entered  land  in 
Johnson  Township  prior  to  January  1, 1835.  Levi  Wright  came  to  the  township 
in  the  fall  of  1834,  but  did  not  enter  any  land  until  February,  1835,  at  which 
time  he  purchased  eighty  acres  on  Section  13,  and,  within  the  next  two  years, 
over  three  hundred  acres  more.  The  following  men  also  entered  land  in  the 
township  in  1835 :  Samuel  Benham,  Peter  Tillipaugh,  George  Walker,  John 
Hughes,  Jeremiah  Bidwell,  Robert  Meeker,  John  Doty  and  Robert  Latta. 
Several  of  these  men  never  resided  in  the  township.  Daniel  Martin  was  in  the 
township  in  the  fall  of  1834,  but  he  entered  no  land.  Five  men  were  present 
and  assisted  in  the  erection  of  Mr.  Wright's  cabin  in  the  fall  of  1834  ;  they 
were  John  Adams,  Nelson  Nichols,  Peter  Lampson,  Daniel  Martin,  and  an- 
other whose  name  is  forgotten.  From  the  above  it  may  be  seen  that  Mr. 
Wright  either  built  his  house  before  he  bought  his  land,  or  his  daughter,  Mrs. 
Vaughan,  is  mistaken  when  she  says  the  house  was  erected  during  the  autumn 
of  1834.  It  is  probable  that  the  house  was  built  in  1834,  as  stated.  Follow- 
ing the  above  men,  there  came  in  Thomas  Oliver,  Philo  Taylor,  two  or  three 
Indian  traders  at  the  Tamarack,    George   Wolcott,   Henry   Nichols,  Almon 


156  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

White,  Hiram  Gardner,  James  Campbell,  John  Benham,  Simeon  Cain,  John 
and  Abraham  Rowe,  Allen  Brundage,  Stephen  Pierce,  William  Dickinson, 
Thomas  Koon,  Nathan  Sherman,  William  Hardin,  Abraham  Eiman,  Charles 
Doty,  Aaron  Hill,  John  Parker,  Abraham  Brayton,  George  Dickinson,  Samuel 
Barnes,  Ozias  Wright,  Levi  Wildman,  Thomas  Higgins,  Mr.  Olin,  James 
Oliver,  Selah  Benham,  Joseph  Caswell,  Anthony  Dickinson,  James  Dunbar, 
Erastus  Disbrow,  William  R.  Hill,  Samuel  Koon,  Henry  Miller,  Hiram 
Meeker,  William  McCollum,  Ira  Nichols,  George  Noble,  James  Parker,  Ross 
Romine,  Phineas  Tillotson,  William  Taylor,  John  Vaughan,  Alexander 
Vaughan,  Isaac  Wright  and  others,  all  locating  in  the  township  prior  to  1840, 
The  township  of  Johnson  was  created  at  the  March  session,  1837,  of  the 
County  Commissioners,  and  an  election  was  ordered  the  first  Monday  in  April 
of  the  same  year,  at  the  residence  of  James  Campbell,  Hiram  Humphreys  being 
appointed  Inspector  by  the  board.  At  this  election,  James  Campbell  was 
elected  Justice  of  the  Peace  ;  but  who  the  other  officers  were  is  not  remembered. 
Before  the  creation  of  the  township  by  the  board,  Johnson  was  attached  to 
Bloomfield  for  election  purposes.  During  the  years  1836  and  1837,  the  greater 
number  of  the  above  men  bought  their  land,  and  began  the  long  and  tedious 
process  of  clearing.  It  is  stated  by  several  old  settlers,  and  currently  believed 
in  the  township,  that  the  first  settlements  of  whites  was  at  the  Tamarack,  as 
it  was  called,  in  the  southeastern  part.  This  seems  to  be  confirmed  by  the 
statements  of  those  who  passed  through  the  place  at  a  very  early  day.  The 
facts  seem  to  be  about  as  follows :  As  early  as  1833,  and  perhaps  1832,  the 
trading-house  of  Comparet  &  Bowrie,  or  Comparet  &  Cuttieaur,  at  Fort  Wayne, 
sent  to  the  Tamarack  one  or  more  Frenchmen  to  open  a  trading  station  with 
the  Indians.  A  small  cabin  was  at  first  built,  but  later  a  double  log  building 
designed  for  a  hotel  was  erected,  in  which  the  traders  had  a  small  stock  of 
goods,  including  whisky,  which  they  sold  to  the  Indians,  who  often  came  there 
in  great  numbers.  A  man  named  Runeaux  was  one  of  these  traders.  He  is 
said  to  have  been  a  brother-in-law  of  Comparet.  After  his  death,  which  oc- 
curred quite  early,  his  widow  (Comparet's  sister)  conducted  the  tavern  for  the 
Fort  Wayne  firm.  This  tavern  was  built  of  tamarack  poles,  six  or  eight  inches 
in  diameter,  and  was  known  far  and  near  as  the  "  Tamarack  House."  In  July, 
1836,  Burris  &  Durand,  or  Burris  &  Hitchcock,  built  a  dam  and  saw-mill  just 
south  of  the  Tamarack  House.  It  was  a  small,  rough  frame  structure,  in  which 
was  placed  a  sash  saw  and  an  old-fashioned  flutter  wheel.  The  water-power 
was  not  very  good,  and  the  mill,  at  its  best,  could  not  turn  out  to  exceed  about 
1,500  feet  of  lumber  per  day.  Hiram  Hardy  was  one  of  the  sawyers.  The 
mill  was  owned  by  these  men  until  about  1838,  Avhen  it  and  the  land  around 
there  were  purchased  by  Comparet,  who,  a  short  time  afterward,  opened  a 
good  store  in  another  building  that  was  erected.  During  the  time  the  saw-mill 
was  owned  by  Burris  &  Co.,  the  Tamarack  House  was  also  conducted  by  Mr. 
Burris.     His  wife,  in  his  absence,  tended  the  bar.     It  is  related  that  one  day, 


JOHNSON    TOWNSHIP.  .  157 

while  she  was  thus  engaged,  several  Indians  came  to  the  tavern  bar  and  bought 
and  drank  some  whisky.  One  of  them  soon  became  half  tipsy.  He  saw  Mrs. 
Burris  leave  the  room  for  a  moment,  going  into  the  other  part  of  the  house  on 
an  errand,  and  when  she  attempted  to  open  the  door  on  her  return,  the  tipsy 
Indian,  who  had  stationed  himself  behind  it,  struck  at  her  with  his  knife.  But 
she  was  too  quick  and  dodged  the  stroke,  at  the  same  moment  leaping  behind 
the  counter  and  catching  up  a  rifle  that  was  standing  loaded  there.  The  In- 
dian had  sense  enough  remaining  to  know  what  was  coming  if  he  remained 
there,  so,  without  waiting  for  the  "order  of  his  going,"  he  ran  out  of  the  door 
and  off  at  full  speed.  Mrs.  Burris  ran  to  the  door  and  fired  at  him,  but,  of 
course,  missed  the  mark,  and  the  redskin  was  soon  out  of  sight  in  the  woods. 
The  others  were  ordered  out,  and  peace  was  soon  restored. 

In  1844,  Comparet  erected  the  grist-mill  that  is  yet  standing,  dismantled 
and  abandoned,  on  the  south  side  of  the  river.  It  was  a  three-storied  frame 
structure,  and,  in  its  day,  was  an  excellent  mill,  turning  out  large  quantities  of 
excellent  flour.  It  is  said  that  Miss  Jane  Creigh,  of  Noble  County,  made  the 
first  bolting  cloths.  At  the  death  of  Mr.  Comparet,  the  property  went  to  his 
son3,  and,  in  1856,  was  purchased  by  0.  P.  Grannis,  in  whose  possession  it 
remained  until  1879.  It  is  said  that,  in  1866,  the  mill  cleared  for  its  owner 
$3,000.  In  about  1845  (or  at  least  just  before  his  death),  Comparet  built  the 
second  saw-mill  near  the  old  one.  At  his  death,  his  goods  were  sold  out  at 
auction.  The  Tamarack,  in  later  years,  became  a  noted  resort  for  the  blacklegs, 
as  they  had  their  hiding-places  in  the  swamps  and  marshes  in  the  vicinity. 
Stolen  horses  were  brought  to  the  vicinity  and  secreted.  Passers  of  bogus  coin 
and  counterfeit  bills  found  it  a  safe  place  when  closely  pursued.  Men  living  in 
the  neighborhood  assisted  them  in  the  concealment  of  stolen  property  and  the 
disguise  of  their  personal  identity.     Tamarack  was  truly  a  bad  place. 

When  the  first  settlers  reached  Johnson  Township,  they  found  it  a  tangled 
wilderness,  filled  with  wild  animals  and  semi-wild  men.  The  latter  had  quite  a 
large  temporary  village  on  the  west  bank  of  Oliver  Lake.  They  mingled  freely 
with  the  white  settlers,  going  to  the  cabins  to  barter,  to  beg  or  to  borrow. 
They  often  stopped  to  stay  all  night  and  were  perfectly  satisfied  to  roll  them- 
selves in  their  blankets  and  lie  down  until  morning  before  the  fire-place.  Two 
of  them,  one  cold  night,  called  at  the  cabin  of  Thomas  Oliver,  and  asked  to 
remain  until  morning,  and  was  granted  the  privilege.  Mr.  Oliver  was  engaged 
in  some  sort  of  work  in  his  cabin  that  required  the  assistance  of  two  additional 
persons.  He  therefore  enlisted  the  two  Indians,  placing  them  so  near  the  fire 
that  in  a  short  time  they  were  reeking  with  sweat.  At  last  the  work  was  fin- 
ished. The  next  morning,  Mr.  Oliver  concluded  he  wanted  more  help  from 
his  red  brethren,  as  he  had  several  instruments  to  be  sharpened  at  the  grind- 
stone. So  he  called  upon  them  to  turn  the  stone,  but  the  Indians,  true  to 
their  habits,  shook  their  heads,  wrapped  their  blankets  around  them  and  walked 
away.     They  did  not  bother  Mr.  Oliver  again.     They  were  in  the  habit  of 


158  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

bringing  venison  to  the  settlers'  cabins.  This  was  traded  for  potatoes,  beansy 
pumpkins,  corn,  etc.  Occasionally  a  bear  steak  was  brought  in.  Bears  were 
rarely  seen,  but  sometimes  stragglers  passed  across  the  township,  several  of 
which  were  killed.  It  is  said  that  Serenus  Heibargen  and  Henry  Randall 
were  out  hunting  deer  one  morning  after  a  big  snow,  when  they  came  across  a 
fresh  bear  track.  They  started  in  pursuit  and  finally  found  the  animal  in  the 
middle  of  a  swamp.  They  fired,  badly  wounding  it,  and,  after  a  little  chase- 
succeeded  in  getting  in  a  couple  more  shots  which  finished  the  animal.  The 
meat  was  divided  up  among  the  settlers.  It  was  quite  a  thing  to  have  bear's 
lard  in  the  house.  One  night  after  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Oliver  had  retired,  the  lat- 
ter was  awakened  by  a  strange  noise  in  the  door-yard.  She  arose,  went  to  the 
door  and  peered  out,  and  saw  that  the  yard  was  full  of  deer,  whose  broad  ant- 
lers could  be  seen  against  the  sky.  She  told  her  husband,  who  got  up  and 
dressed,  took  his  gun,  and  going  to  the  door,  shot  one  of  the  largest,  where- 
upon the  whole  herd,  including  the  wounded  one,  ran  off  at  full  speed.  The 
next  morning  a  large  fine  buck  was  found  lying  dead  a  few  yards  outside  the 
dooryard.  Mr.  Oliver,  one  day,  had  a  severe  fight  with  a  wounded  buck.  He 
shot  it  through  the  hips,  and  the  animal  fell  on  the  ground,  to  all  appearance 
dead.  Mr.  Oliver,  without  loading  his  gun,  hurried  up  to  cut  its  throat,  and 
while  leaning  over  the  prostrate  animal  for  that  purpose,  was  suddenly  kicked 
back  by  the  deer,  the  knife  flying  off  several  yards.  The  furious  animal  leaped 
up  on  three  legs,  and  with  head  down,  made  at  the  hunter.  The  dog  of  the 
latter  came  to  his  assistance.  Mr.  Oliver  seized  the  buck  by  its  antlers,  and, 
by  a  little  maneuvering,  succeeded  in  getting  his  knife,  whereupon  he  immedi- 
ately ham-strung  the  enraged  animal.  It  fought  on  after  that,  standing  only 
on  its  fore  legs,  but  it  was  soon  dispatched.  It  is  related  that  Abraham  Eiman, 
one  day,  set  out  a  fire  in  the  woods  which  soon  got  beyond  his  control.  The 
roaring  fiames  swept  southward  and  soon  the  Indian  village  went  up  in  smoke. 
It  is  stated  that  the  fire  swept  upon  them  so  closely  as  to  destroy  some  of  their 
property.  This  roused  them  into  retaliating  for  the  injury  done  them.  A 
band  of  warriors  presented  themselves  at  the  residence  of  Mr.  Eiman,  demand- 
ing where  the  latter  could  be  found,  but  they  were  informed  that  he  was  not 
there,  although  at  that  moment  he  was  under  the  floor.  Mr.  Eiman  kept  close 
watch  for  several  days  until  the  wrath  of  the  Indians  had  subsided.  Many 
more  incidents  similar  to  the  above  might  be  narrated.  An  amusing  story  is 
told  of  an  old  settler,  not  a  thousand  miles  from  Valentine,  who  shall  be  name- 
less here.  He  was  out  in  the  woods  one  evening  just  at  dark,  several  miles- 
from  home.  Being  a  timid  man  and  unused  to  the  ways  of  the  woods,  his  fear& 
were  naturally  on  the  alert  as  he  hurried  on  toward  home.  Two  of  his  neigh- 
bors, who  had  been  hunting  and  had  become  somewhat  belated,  saw  him  hurrying 
along,  without  being  perceived  by  him.,  and  knowing  his  disposition  and  weak- 
ness, resolved  to  give  him  a  scare.  They  therefore  began  to  imitate  the  howl  of 
the  gray  wolf.     This  had  an  instantaneous  effect  on  the  settler.     He  glanced 


^ 


JOHNSOIV  TR 


JOHNSON    TOWNSHIP.  161 

wildly  around  him.  and  then  started  on  a  rapid  run  in  the  direction  of  his 
cabin.  The  others  followed  fast  after  him,  howling  frequently,  which  had  the 
effect  to  greatly  accelerate  his  traveling  qualities.  Excellent  time  was  made 
through  the  woods  until  the  settler  arrived  panting  and  tired  at  his  own  door, 
announcing  that  he  had  been  chased  by  wolves  and  that  he  had  just  escaped 
their  clutches  by  the  "  skin  of  his  teeth."  The  story  is  told  at  the  expense  of 
the  old  settler  even  to  this  day. 

Levi  Wright  entered  his  land  in  the  vicinity  of  Wright's  Corners,  named 
thus  in  his  honor.  He  had  considerable  property,  and,  as  a  matter  of  course, 
had  considerable  influence.  A  few  years  later,  Joseph  Head  erected  a  house  at 
the  corners ;  and  still  later  Mr.  Kimble  built  another,  which  was  thrown  open 
for  the  entertainment  of  the  public.  In  about  the  year  1847,  Vaughan  & 
Wildman  opened  the  first  store  at  the  corners.  Their  stock  was  worth  several 
thousand  dollars,  and  comprised  about  everything  sold  at  that  day  in  country 
stores.  They  did  not  confine  their  entire  attention  and  capital  to  the  store  ; 
but  bought  considerable  country  produce,  which  was  shipped  to  distant  and 
larger  places.  They  also  dealt  to  some  extent  in  live  stock,  buying  the  same 
from  the  settlers  living  over  an  extensive  scope  of  country.  It  is  said  they 
made  no  little  money  in  these  various  transactions.  Two  or  three  years  after 
they  had  begun,  Wildman  sold  his  interests  to  his  partner ;  but  the  latter  con- 
tinued until  about  the  year  1851,  when  he,  too,  retired  from  the  business.  Con- 
trary to  the  usual  condition  of  things,  Mr.  Wright  was  averse  to  the  establish- 
ment of  a  small  village  at  the  corners.  Mechanics  and  artisans  applied  to  him 
for  lots  upon  which  to  build  their  shops ;  but  he  obstinately  refused  to  sell,  and 
was  thus  the  means  of  preventing  the  growth  of  quite  a  village  at  that  place. 
Had  he  encouraged  its  growth,  as  he  alone  could,  the  Grand  Rapids  &  Indiana 
Railroad  might  be  running  through  the  place  to-day.  In  spite  of  him,  a  small 
country  village  sprang  up,  and  has  endured  until  the  present.  Other  mer- 
chants have  been  Messrs.  Adams,  Crandall,  Strayer,  and  the  present  one,  Mr. 
Woodruff;  there  have  been  times  when  there  was  no  store.  A  post  ofiice  was 
established  quite  early.  Some  milling  interests  have  been  established  there  in 
late  years.  Mr.  Wright  kept  some  twenty  cows,  and  his  wife  manufactured 
butter  and  cheese.  In  1836,  Mr.  Wright  procured  about  fifty  apple  trees  and 
a  number  of  currant  bushes  from  a  nursery  on  one  of  the  neighboring  prairies. 
These  were  set  out  at  the  corners,  and,  so  far  as  known,  were  the  first  of  the 
kind  planted  in  the  township.  The  population  of  the  village  has  never  exceed- 
ed eight  or  ten  families.  It  has  a  fine  schoolhouse  and  a  fine  church,  which 
will  be  described  further  along. 

Valentine  is  yet  in  its  infancy.  Barney  Newell  lived  in  the  present  Val- 
entine House  years  before  the  village  was  thought  of.  Some  twelve  years  ago, 
or  immediately  after  the  Grand  Rapids  Railroad  was  completed.  Sergeant  & 
Clugston  built  a  saw-mill  at  the  place.  Steam  and  double  circular  saws  have 
been  used.     The  mill  has  been  an  excellent  one.     It  was  conducted  by  Ser- 


162  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

geant  &  Clugston  until  about  two  years  ago,  when  the  latter  sold  out  to  his 
partner.  George  Hobson  obtained  an  interest  in  the  mill  a  year  ago.  A  con- 
siderable quantity  of  lumber  is  shipped  away  by  rail.  They  are  manufactur- 
ing a  small  quantity  of  lath  at  present.  Some  six  or  seven  years  ago.  Albert 
Scoville,  of  Sturgis,  Mich.,  erected  a  large  frame  building  and  began  the  man- 
ufacture of  all  kinds  of  wooden  handles  and  staves  for  barrels,  kegs,  butter- 
tubs,  etc.  Four  or  five  car  loads  have  been  shipped  annually.  A  planing-mill 
is  connected  with  the  factory.  Leonard  Butts  has  obtained  an  interest  in  the 
business.  In  1874,  William  Painter  placed  a  stock  of  goods  (no  dry  goods), 
valued  at  about  $800,  in  the  office  of  the  present  Valentine  House.  In  1877, 
when  William  Rowe  opened  his  store,  Mr.  Painter  disposed  of  his  stock,  and 
retired  from  the  business.  Rowe  had  some  $700  worth  of  goods.  He  did  not 
remain  long,  and  was  succeeded  by  James  D.  Clugston,  who,  with  a  stock 
worth  about  $1,000,  remained  about  a  year.  Then  Oscar  Gardner  was  in  with 
a  stock  about  a  year.  He  was  succeeded  by  Albert  Markel.^  Clark  Betts  is 
merchandising  at  present.  The  mercantile  pursuit  at  Valentine  has  been  ex- 
tremely fickle  and  uncertain.  William  is  at  present  conducting  a  shoe-shop. 
George  Slack  was  the  first  blacksmith  in  the  village.  William  Painter  opened  his 
hotel  (Valentine  House)  in  1874.  Oscar  Gardner  also  entertains  travelers  and 
others.  William  Painter  was  appointed  Postmaster  in  November,  1873,  retain- 
ing the  office  until  April,  1881,  when  William  Rowe  received  the  appointment. 
In  April,  1879,  James  McKibben  employed  a  surveyor,  and  properly  laid  out 
Valentine,  recording  the  plat  at  the  county  seat.  Twenty-one  lots  were  laid 
out  on  Sections  8  and  9.  The  present  population  is  some  eight  or  ten  families. 
For  a  great  many  years,  George  Wolcott,  a  native  of  Connecticut,  was 
the  leading  spirit  at  Wolcottville.  He  was  a  very  energetic,  hard-working, 
generous  man,  but  burdened,  as  many  of  us  are,  with  a  high  spirit.  He  had 
considerable  means  at  his  command,  and,  upon  his  arrival  in  September,  1837, 
began  industrial  enterprises  on  an  extensive  scale.  He  immediately  built  a 
saw-mill  that  soon  became  known  far  and  near.  It  was  completed  in  1838, 
and  a  year  or  two  later  a  small  set  of  buhrs  was  placed  in  an  addition  built  to 
it.  This  building  was  standing  just  below  the  present  grist-mill.  In  about 
the  year  1841,  that  portion  of  the  building  occupied  by  the  sawing  machinery 
was  vacated,  and  a  new  saw-mill  was  erected  some  twelve  or  fifteen  rods  farther 
up  the  race,  the  old  room  being  fitted  up  with  machinery  for  carding  wool. 
About  this  time,  Mr.  Wolcott  had  in  his  employ  many  workmen,  as  he  was 
conducting  quite  a  large  farm  in  connection  with  his  industrial  enterprises. 
Philo  Taylor,  who  purchased  a  farm  just  north  of  Wolcottville,  in  June,  1836, 
became  a  well-known  and  prominent  man.  Himself  and  sons  have  done  a 
great  deal  to  render  Wolcottville  an  attractive  place,  and  its  present  thrifty 
condition  is  largely  due  to  their  efforts  and  those  of  L.  L.  Wildman.  In  about 
the  year  1839,  Mr.  Wolcott  built  a  storeroom  and  placed  therein  goods  worth 
about  $1,000,  but  subsequently  greatly  increased  the  stock.     Eight  or  ten  years 


JOHNSON    TOWNSHIP.  163 

after  beginning,  he  probably  had  on  hand  $7,000  worth  of  goods.  At  this  period, 
his  trade  was  large,  and,  of  course,  lucrative.  While  he  was  conducting  the 
old  grist-mill,  it  is  said  he  boarded,  free  of  charge,  the  men  who  came  to  him 
for  flour.  The  old  set  of  buhrs  had  been  obtained  of  Mr.  0.  P.  Grannis,  who 
had  come  to  the  county  in  1834,  first  locating  near  Lima,  where  he  engaged  in 
the  milling  business,  but  subsequently  removed  to  the  Tamarack,  where  he  yet 
resides.  In  1845,  Mr.  Wolcott  erected  the  present  grist-mill,  placing  therein 
the  old  set  of  buhrs  and  two  new  ones.  This  mill  is  yet  in  operation,  and,  in 
its  day,  has  been  one  of  the  best  for  miles  around.  With  it,  the  owner  did  a 
large  amount  of  merchant  work,  besides  custom  work,  over  a  large  extent  of 
country.  In  1847,  he  built  a  new  storeroom  to  accommodate  his  stock  of 
goods  that  had  greatly  increased.  It  is  said  that  at  one  time  Mr.  Wolcott  was 
engaged  in  seven  different  occupations — milling,  sawing,  blacksmithing,  mer- 
chandising, "coopering,"  farming  and  manufacturing  potash.  He  probably 
had  twenty  workmen  employed  at  one  time.  He  had  erected  some  fifteen 
buildings  in  the  village,  which  were  rented  or  sold  as  required.  It  is  said  that 
his  brother  James  had  an  interest  in  the  property  at  the  village.  No  cloth 
was  manufactured  at  the  carding-mill,  which  was  conducted  about  four  years. 
A  small  distillery  was  conducted  for  a  short  time  at  Wolcottville,  some  say  by 
Mi\  Weston,  and  others  by  Mr.  Wolcott.  Both,  perhaps,  had  an  interest  in  it. 
The  kegs,  barrels,  etc.,  manufactured  at  the  small  cooper-shop,  were  probably 
intended  for  and  used  in  this  distillery.  What  liquor  was  manufactured  there 
was  consumed  about  as  fast  as  it  was  made.  A  considerable  quantity  of  pearl- 
ash  was  manufactured  at  the  ashery,  and  shipped  away  by  wagon.  0.  B.  Tay- 
lor remembers  of  going  there  one  night,  when  a  boy,  with  a  quantity  of  eggs 
(he  did  not  say  where  they  were  obtained),  and  of  roasting  them  in  the  hot 
ashes.  He  also  well  remembers  that  many  of  the  eggs  had  suffered  se- 
verely by  the  process  of  incubation,  and  that  he  ^received  the  full  benefit  (?)  of 
that  mysterious  process.  Is  the  trite  axiom,  "  The  way  of  the  transgressor  is 
hard,"  applicable  in  this  case  ? 

In  about  the  year  1851,  Mr.  Wolcott  disposed  of  his  various  industrial 
pursuits,  McMeans  &  Weston,  it  is  said,  buying  the  mills  and  perhaps  other 
property.  After  a  few  years,  these  men  sold  out  to  Wilbur  &  Hitchcock,  who 
owned  the  mills  until  1860,  when  they  were  purchased  by  Taylor  &  Wildman. 
In  1866,  they  went  to  other  parties.  Among  the  industries  that  have  flour- 
ished in  the  village  are  the  following:  A  rake  factory,  owned  and  operated  by 
Alvin  Hamlin.  He  continued  the  occupation  about  ten  years,  and  turned  out 
no  small  number  of  implements.  A  tannery,  owned  by  Anthony  Watson, 
which  was  conducted  some  ten  years.  In  about  the  year  1855,  E.  Bunco  built 
a  foundry,  and  commenced  the  manufacture  of  plows,  scrapers,  kettles,  machine- 
castings,  etc.  The  industry  was  continued  about  fifteen  years,  passing  through 
the  hands  of  Paulus  &  Ewing,  Higgins  &  Harnes,  Mr.  Hutchins,  and,  at  last, 
to  Mr.  Cochran,  in  whose  possession  it  was  abandoned.     A  few  years  ago,  Ed 


164  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

Harding  built  a  new  foundry,  which  is  being  conducted  by  him  at  present. 
Moon  &  Rogers  are  the  present  proprietors  of  a  carriage  factory.  It  was  first 
established  some  eight  or  ten  years  ago,  and  some  changes  in  the  ownership 
have  since  been  made.  Some  ten  or  twelve  years  ago,  Paulus  &  Yeager  built  a 
planing-mill.  It  is  now  owned  by  Paulus  &  Nichols.  Doors,  blinds,  sash,  etc., 
etc.,  are  manufactured.     Mr.  Haley  owns  a  cooper  shop. 

L.  L.  Wildman  opened  the  second  store  in  1849.  He  had  previously  been 
in  business  at  Wright's  Corners.  He  began  with  about  $3,000  worth  of  ^oods, 
and  continued  merchandising  some  sixteen  years,  having  associated  with  him  at 
different  times  William  Taylor,  Mr.  Law,  0.  B.  Taylor  and  others.  He  was  a 
member  of  the  excellent  firm  of  0.  B.  Taylor  &  Co.,  that  continued  about  seven 
years ;  also  of  the  firm  Taylor  &  Wildman.  H.  L.  Taylor  was  associated  in 
the  partnership  of  0.  B.  &  H.  L.  Taylor.  Considerable  money  was  made 
during  the  war  by  these  men.  Taylor  &  Woodruff  were  merchants  for  a  few 
years  at  the  close  of  the  war.  Mr.  Wildman  went  into  the  hardware  business 
in  1867.  More  of  this  may  be  learned  by  asking  him.  In  1873,  he  began  a 
private  banking  business  under  the  name  Wildman's  Exchange  Bank,  the  same 
being  continued  until  the  present.  There  are  now  in  Wolcottville  three  dry 
goods  stores,  one  grocery,  three  drug  stores,  one  hardware  store,  one  stove  and 
tinware  establishment,  two  milliners,  one  art-gallery,  one  harness  shop,  one 
furniture  shop,  etc.,  etc.  The  estimated  population,  decennially,  is  as  follows  : 
In  1840,  20;  in  1850,  100;  in  1860,  300;  in  1870,  450;  in  1880,500. 
Wolcottville  is'one  of  the  liveliest  business  points  of  the  size  in  the  State. 
This  is  given  on  the  authority  of  commercial  travelers  who  ought  to  know. 

Dr.  Leonard  Barber,  who  resided  at  Northport  in  Noble  County,  was  the 
first  physician  to  administer  to  the  bodily  ills  of  the  citizens  of  Wolcottville. 
Dr.  Myers  was  perhaps  the  first  resident  physician.  Others  have  been  Eno, 
Chappell,  Gower,  White,  Raby,  Scovill,  Shepard  and  others.  Lawyers  have 
lately  dared  the  frowns  of  the  villagers  by  hanging  out  their  signs.  An  Odd 
Fellows'  Lodge  was  instituted  May  10,  1875,  with  the  following  charter  mem- 
bers :  A.  Axel,  M.  Westler,  W.  H.  Rodgers,  L.  D.  McGowen,  A.  Blackman, 
J.  White,  N.  M.  Bassett,  E.  Bryan,  J.  L.  McQueen,  J.  Bally  and  E.  Blodget. 
The  present  membership  is  about  twenty-seven.  The  lodge  is  out  of  debt,  and 
has  about  $500  worth  of  property,  but  has  no  hall.  The  present  officers  are 
M.  Westler,  N.  G. ;  D.  Whitmer,  V.  G. ;  E.  Stanbaugh,  Treasurer ;  W.  H. 
Rodgers,  Secretary.  The  Masons  also  have  a  lodge,  which  was  instituted  in 
May,  1868,  with  the  following  charter  members:  A.  Eminger,  William 
Myers,  William  Guiser,  G.  Miller,  N.  Nunun,  C.  Hurlbert.  The  present  offi- 
cers are  John  Grannis,  W.  M. ;  William  Culver,  S.  W. ;  George  Nunun,  J. 
W.  ;  0.  B.  Taylor,  Treasurer;  W.  H.  Rodgers,  Secretary.  The  lodge  is  out 
of  debt  and  in  good  financial  condition.     Present  membership  is  about  forty-two. 

In  about  1839,  Mr.  Sabin  built  a  dam  and  a  saw-mill  on  the  river  a  short 
distance  west  of  Wolcottville.     A  few  years  later,  he  sold  out  to  Dr.  Leonard 


(-Aw 


<-y  .mHNSON  TP. 


JOHNSON    TOWNSHIP.  167 

Barber,  who  operated  it  successfully  for  a  long  period.  At  last  it  went  to 
Andrew  Ponty,  thence  to  John  Swain,  thence  to  Aaron  Kimmell,  thence  to 
Horace  Hamlin. 

Wolcottville  was  laid  out  into  thirty-three  lots  and  recorded  in  October, 
1849. 

In  1880,  there  were  living  in  the  township  the  following  persons  over 
seventy-five  years  of  age :  Gideon  B.  Johnson,  seventy-five  ;  William  Ryan, 
eighty-eight ;  George  Meeker,  seventy-seven ;  Luke  Briggs,  seventy-eight ; 
William  Loret,  eighty-one;  John  Martin,  seventy-seven;  Nathaniel  W.  Bates, 
seventy-eight ;  Tempy  Olenhouse,  eighty-five ;  Mary  Wolcott,  seventy-six. 

Where  the  first  school  in  the  township  was  taught  is  not  clear,  but  was, 
most  probably,  at  Wright's  Corners.  A  log  schoolhouse  was  erected  there  at  a 
very  early  day,  and  used  until  not  far  from  1848,  when  a  small  frame  structure 
took  its  place.  This  was  used  until  after  the  last  war,  when  another  frame  was 
built,  but  this  house,  in  a  few  years,  became  too  small  to  hold  comfortably  all 
the  scholars,  and,  at  last,  in  1878,  the  present  fine  two-storied  brick  building 
was  constructed  at  a  cost  of  over  $2,000.  Two  teachers  are  now  employed. 
The  evidence  seems  to  show  that  the  first  school  was  taught  at  the  corners  as 
early  as  18.36,  although  it  might  have  been  a  year  later,  or,  as  Mrs.  (Wright) 
Vaughan  thinks,  a  year  earlier.  The  first  school  is  remembered  as  being  very 
insignificant,  and  it  is  to  be  presumed  that  very  little  was  learned  save  mis- 
chief. In  1838,  Mr.  Barns,  who  lived  a  short  distance  north  of  Wolcottville, 
built  a  log  barn,  in  which  his  daughter  taught  during  the  summer  of  the  same 
year.  Wolcott,  Taylor,  Culver,  Lampson,  Nichols  and  others  sent  to  her. 
No  other  term  was  taught  there,  as  at  its  close  the  house  was  occupied  by  Mr. 
Barns'  domestic  animals.  In  about  the  year  1839,  a  log  schoolhouse  was  built 
a  half  mile  north  of  Wolcottville,  or  one  mile  north  of  the  township  line. 
Ozias  Wright  taught  the  first  term  in  this  house  the  same  year.  After  a  few 
years,  the  building  was  destroyed  hy  fire,  and  another  was  built  in  its  place, 
which  was  used  until  the  Seminary  was  erected.  Several  early  terms  were 
taught  in  a  house  belonging  to  Mr.  Wolcott,  Volucia  Brown  being  one  of  the 
teachers.  In  1838,  a  log  schoolhouse  was  erected  half  a  mile  south  of  Wol- 
cottville. Levi  L.  Wildman  became  the  first  pedagogue,  receiving  $10  per 
month  and  "boarding  round."  McQueen,  Nichols,  Pierce,  Dyer,  Hovey, 
Lampson,  Munger,  Cunningham,  Greenman,  Taylor,  and  perhaps  others,  sent 
children  to  him.  No  schoolhouse  was  built  in  Wolcottville  until  several 
years  before  the  Seminary  was  abandoned.  At  that  time  a  frame  house  was 
built  and  used  until  the  present  ample,  two-storied  frame  house  was  erected 
some  ten  years  ago  at  a  cost  of  about  $2,800,  under  a  contract  with  Henry 
Haller.  Frank  P.  Taylor  is  the  present  Principal,  and  has  two  assistants. 
In  about  the  year  1841,  a  log  schoolhouse  was  erected  one  mile  north  of  the 
Tamarack.  Among  those  who  sent  children  here  were  Jeremiah  Bidwell, 
Phineas    Tillotson,    George    Meeker,    Daniel    Lewis,    Henry   Miller,    Robert 


168  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

Meeker,  Oliver  Osborn  and  others.  After  five  or  six  years  of  use,  this  house 
was  abandoned,  and  a  frame  was  built  at  the  same  place,  which  was  burned 
down  two  years  later  and  replaced  with  another,  which  lasted  until  the  present 
brick  house  was  erected  in  1881.  A  log  schoolhouse  was  erected  at  Valentine, 
not  far  from  1840,  Thomas  Oliver  furnishing  a  portion  of  the  lumber,  and 
Abraham  Eiman  making  the  shingles.  Hiram  Gardner  helped  build  the  house. 
Elmira  Crandall  was  one  of  the  first  teachers,  her  term  being  the  winter  of 
1842-43.  She  boarded  at  Hiram  Gardner's,  paying  two  bushels  of  corn  per 
week  for  her  board.  This  house  was  used  until  about  1848.  A  log  dwelling 
on  the  Schoonover  farm  was  devoted  to  the  uses  of  education  after  that,  but 
was  finally  destroyed  by  fire  about  twenty-five  years  ago,  when  the  present 
small  frame  was  built.  Since  the  village  of  Valentine  has  sprung  up  with  an 
increase  of  families  to  send  to  school,  the  house  has  become  too  small  to  prop- 
erly accommodate  the  children.  A  new  and  larger  house  should  be  built  with- 
out delay.  A  log  schoolhouse  was  built  near  Mr.  Dickinson's,  or  near  Mr. 
Koon's,  in  1841.  Lucretia  Crandall,  now  the  wife  of  Hiram  Gardner,  was  the 
first  teacher,  most  probably.  She  taught  during  the  summer  of  that  year,  and 
was  paid  ten  shillings  per  week.  During  the  winter  of  1840-41,  this  lady 
taught  in  a  building  belonging  to  Almon  White,  and  was  paid  twelve  shillings 
per  week.  The  school  building  north  of  Oliver  Lake  was  erected  some  twenty- 
one  years  ago,  Benjamin  Williams  being  the  first  teacher.  A  log  building  in 
the  northeastern  part,  on  A.  J.  Rayer's  farm,  was  devoted  to  school  purposes 
as  early  as  1842.  It  was  probably  used  until  a  schoolhouse  was  constructed 
about  six  years  later.     The  present  country  schools  are  above  the  average. 

The  most  important  school  in  the  township,  and  one  of  the  most  important 
in  the  county,  was  the  "  Wolcottville  Seminary."  In  1851,  ex-Gov. 
Slade  of  Vermont  was  President  of  the  National  Board  of  Education.  The 
Protestant  denominations  in  the  East  saw,  with  concern,  that  the  Roman  Cath- 
olics, with  greater  religious  enterprise,  were  sending  teachers  out  into  the  back- 
woods, and  were  founding  many  Catholic  schools  and  churches  in  the  great  West. 
This  led  to  the  creation  of  the  above-mentioned  Board  of  Education,  a  Protestant 
organization,  whose  object  was  the  establishment  of  Protestant  schools  and 
churches  in  the  backwoods.  This  led  to  a  strong  demand  for  Christian  work- 
ers who  were  willing  to  take  their  chances  in  the  rapidly  growing  West.  About 
this  time,  also,  Mr.  Wolcott  became  dissatisfied,  for  some  reason,  with  the 
schools  in  his  vicinity,  whereupon  he  wrote  to  ex-Gov.  Slade,  asking  that 
a  thoroughly  competent  Christian  teacher  be  sent  out  to  Wolcottville,  to  labor 
as  a  governess  in  his  family  until  some  arrangement  could  be  made  for  her  in  a 
public  school.  It  had  entered  Mr.  Wolcott's  mind  to  build  a  seminary  at  Wol- 
cottville. Ex-Gov.  Slade  promptly  sent  out  Miss  Susan  Griggs,  a  very 
'  earnest,  true-hearted  Christian  lady.  She  was  immediately  employed  as  gov- 
erness in  Mr.  Wolcott's  family  at  a  salary  of  $250  per  year,  and,  to  commence 
with,  had  but  one  scholar.     Miss  Griggs  reached  Wolcottville  and  began  her 


JOHNSON    TOWNSHIP.  169 

labors  in  October,  1851.  Her  presence  at  the  village  was  soon  known,  and 
several  citizens  asked  that  she  might  teach  their  children.  A  house  belonging 
to  Mr.  Wolcott  was  fitted  up  for  her,  in  which  she  taught  during  the  winter  of 
1851-52,  having  twelve  scholars.  She  also  taught  in  this  house  the  following 
summer,  having  thirty  scholars.  During  the  summer  of  1852,  Mr.  Wolcott,  at 
an  expense  of  over  $3,000,  erected  the  Seminary  building,  and  also  a  large  frame 
structure  in  which  students  might  find  rooms  while  attending  the  school.  In 
November,  1852,  school  in  the  Seminary  was  begun.  A  tuition  of  $3.50  was 
asked  for  the  term  of  eleven  weeks,  and  if  Latin,  French,  German,  painting  in 
oil  or  music  were  desired,  extra  tuition  must  be  paid.  About  fifty  students 
were  in  attendance  during  the  winter.  Miss  Eliza  Dudley,  of  York  State,  was 
employed  as  assistant.  Miss  Griggs  was  to  have  all  she  could  realize  from  the 
school  tuition,  and  was  required  to  keep  the  buildings  in  repair.  The  doors  of 
the  Seminary  were  thrown  open  to  young  men,  although  the  school  was  origi- 
nally designed  for  females  alone.  Here  it  was  that  Miss  Griggs,  for  seventeen 
long  years,  labored  in  the  field  she  had  chosen.  Sometimes  she  had  enrolled  as 
high  as  115  students,  the  average  being  about  sixty-five  for  the  entire  period. 
Sometimes  two  assistants  were  required.  Diplomas  were  not  granted.  The 
Seminary  was  not  denominational,  though  Christian  exercises  were  regularly 
held.  A  catalogue  was  published,  and  perhaps  two- thirds  of  the  students  came 
from  abroad.  The  effect  of  the  school  upon  the  neighborhood  was  soon  seen. 
Education  and  intelligence  were  at  a  premium,  and  Wolcottville  acquired  fame 
over  a  large  section  of  country  for  its  thrift,  brightness  and  general  excellence. 
Too  much  cannot  be  said  in  praise  of  Misa  Griggs.  She  gave  herself  no  relaxa- 
tion from  labor,  and,  as  a  necessary  consequence,  lost  her  health  in  1869,  and 
was  compelled  to  sever  her  connection  with  the  Seminary,  greatly  to  her  regret 
A  Sunday  school  was  organized  in  the  Seminary  in  1852,  under  the  superin- 
tendence of  Miss  Griggs,  and  continued  through  the  years  until  school  there 
ended.  Miss  Griggs  was  Superintendent  for  thirteen  consecutive  years. 
Through  her  earnest  determination  alone,  the  Sunday  school  not  only  lived, 
but  greatly  prospered,  with  an  average  attendance  of  about  fifty.  Miss  Griggs 
has  shown  a  heart  and  a  character  extremely  rare  in  this  gilded  age  of  money- 
making  and  sordid  selfishness.  The  best  years  of  her  life  have  been  spent  is 
self-denial,  charity,  humanity,  and  pure  womanly  work.  Her  health  has  been 
sacrificed,  her  means  employed,  and  her  life  dedicated  to  the  struggle  of  widen- 
ing the  sphere  of  Christian  intelligence  and  human  happiness.  True  as  a  mag- 
net to  her  life  duties,  she  has  beaten  down  all  obstacles,  and  inspired  those 
around  her  with  the  enjoyment  of  noble  endeavor.  In  view  of  her  long  years 
of  labor  at  the  village,  how  scores  have  been  made  happier  by  her,  how  hun- 
dreds have  gone  out  from  her  instruction  with  truer  ideas  of  life  and  its  duties, 
how  patient  self-denial  and  faith  in  God  have  been  the  watchwords  of  this 
noble  woman,  it  is  unquestionably  due  her  from  the  citizens  that  her  declining 
years  be  rendered  free  from  the  bitterness  of  poverty  and  thanklessness.     And 


170  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

the  part  borne  by  Mr.  Wolcott,  does  not  that  deserve  recognition  ?  All  the 
expense  of  erecting  the  buildings  was  sustained  by  him.  In  one  year  he  paid 
as  high  as  $75  tuition,  when,  under  the  contract  with  Miss  Griggs,  his  children 
were  to  receive  instruction  free  of  charge.  Lack  of  generosity  was  not  one  of 
his  faults. 

The  Evangelical  Lutheran  society,  which  has  a  frame  church  on  Section 
15,  was  organized  in  1856  by  Rev.  J.  G.  Biddle.  During  the  winter  of  1856- 
57,  a  memorable  revival  was  conducted  by  Rev.  Biddle.  Among  the  early 
members  were  Elias  Plank  and  wife,  Mrs.  Mariah  Teeter,  Michael  Hoff  and 
wife,  Tobias  Aichele  and  wife,  Mr.  Alspaugh  and  wife,  Daniel  Holsinger  and 
wife,  and  others.  In  1858,  the  membership  was  about  fifty.  The  pastors  after 
Rev.  Biddle  have  been  A.  -J.  Kromer,  W.  Waltman,  Jabez  Shafer,  D.  Smith, 
Leander  Kiser,  and,  at  present,  L.  Rice.  The  church  was  erected  in  1860,  and 
cost  about  $1,600.  The  society  has  preaching  every  two  weeks.-  Sunday 
school  has  been  had  occasionally.  In  1840,  a  Methodist  Episcopal  society  was 
organized  near  Valentine,  by  John  and  Abraham  Rowe.  Among  the  early 
members  were  the  Rowes,  the  Brundages,  the  Flints,  the  Braytons  and  others. 
For  a  time  they  met  in  John  Rowe's  house;  but  later,  schoolhouses  were  used. 
The  society  has  lived  until  the  present  It  has  now  a  fine  brick  church  at  Val- 
entine, erected  last  year  at  a  cost  of  about  $3,000.  The  Albrights  effected  an 
organization  at  Wright's  Corners  about  the  close  of  the  last  war.  Their  fine 
church  was  erected  twelve  or  thirteen  years  ago.  The  society  is  prosperous. 
In  July,  1837,  the  following  persons  organized  a  Baptist  society  at  Wolcott- 
ville :  Samuel  Barnes  and  wife,  Almon  White  and  wife,  Dr.  Perkins  and  wife, 
D.  A.  Munger  and  wife,  Nancy  Dickinson,  Julia  A.  Pierce  and  Sister  Sawyer. 
Elder  McMack  presided,  and  L.  M.  Chont  acted  as  clerk.  Elder  Burroughs 
became  the  first  pastor,  continuing  until  1845,  when  Elder  C.  H.  Blanchard 
succeeded  him,  giving  the  society  half  his  time.  Elder  Blanchard  has  been 
with  the  society  the  greater  portion  of  the  time  since.  In  1843,  a  log  meeting 
house  was  built  one-half  mile  south  of  the  village,  and  used  until  1851,  when 
the  frame  church  was  erected  at  Wolcottville.  In  1844,  the  Sunday  school  was 
organized.  The  Methodists  effected  an  organization  at  Wolcottville  in  1839, 
under  the  ministration  of  Revs.  Posey  and  Allen.  The  society  started  with  but 
four  members,  A.  Witter,  Mrs.  Witter,  Kizziah  Nichols,  and  another,  whose  name 
is  not  remembered.  Schoolhouses  and  dwellings  were  the  first  meeting  houses. 
A  building  owned  by  Ozias  Wright  was  used  several  years.  The  society  became 
quite  strong  in  1844 ;  but,  in  1858,  had  weakened  until  only  seven  persons  be- 
longed— seven  women — as  follows  :  Susan  Griggs,  Mary  A.  Taylor,  Melinda 
Strayer,  Mrs.  Strayer,  and  three  others.  The  society  got  its  first  real  start 
from  a  revival  held  in  the  Seminary  building  by  Rev.  D.  P.  Hartman,  at  which 
time  some  thirty  persons  became  members.  About  as  many  more  joined  at  the 
time  of  a  revival  held  by  Rev.  William  Van  Slack.  Meetings  were  held  in  the 
Seminary  until  1874,  at  which   time  the  church    was    built  at  a  cost  of  about 


JOHNSON    TOWNSHIP.  171 

$3,000.  As  stated  above,  Miss  Griggs  conducted  the  Sunday  school  for  years, 
but  was  finally  succeeded  by  Mr.  Cutler.  The  society  is  now  strong  and  pros- 
perous. Posey  and  Allen  organized  a  Methodist  society  at  the  Tamarack  in 
1840.  There  were  some  eight  members  at  first.  In  1852,  a  small  frame 
church  was  built,  and  was  occupied  by  the  society  until  about  ten  years  ago, 
since  which  time  the  membership  has  been  so  small  that  but  few  meetings  have 
been  held.  The  church  is  at  present  used  to  hold  funerals  in,  there  being  a 
cemetery  near  it.  Other  small  religious  societies  have  flourished  in  the  town- 
ship at  different  times. 


"^^r^'d 


CHAPTER    IX. 


BY  E.  H.  BEEICK. 


Van  Buren  Township— Surface  Features— Incidents  of  Early  Settlement 
—Catalogue  of  Pioneers— Yillagb  of  Marion— Industrial  Growth — 
Village  of  Van  Buren— The  Dwight  and  Barnes  Tragedy— Learning 
AND  Religion. 

VAN  BUREN,  as  named  by  the  founder  of  the  second  village  of  the 
county  in  honor  of  the  then  President-elect,  was  "  admitted  into  the 
Union "  in  1837.  Van  Buren  is  the  northwest  township  of  the  county, 
bounded  by  the  Michigan  line  on  the  north  and  Elkhart  County  on  the  west, 
and  comprises  a  variety  of  lands — level,  fine  farming  land  in  the  east,  and  in 
the  west  a  beautiful  country,  which  in  part  compensates  for  a  little  lack  in  suit- 
ability for  the  farmer,  by  affording,  in  its  rolling  hills  and  beautiful  lakes,  a 
refreshing  relief  from  the  monotony  of  sandy  prairies. 

The  township  is  well  watered  by  Pigeon  River,  flowing  through  the  middle, 
and  its  tributaries:  Crooked  Creek  to  the  north,  and  Shipshewana,  Muddy 
and  Buck  Runs  at  the  south.  Pigeon  River  supplies  a  valuable  water-power, 
which  was  early  utilized,  and  in  such  capacity  that  surveys  were  made  at  an 
'early  day  to  discover  if  it  could  be  made  navigable  as  an  outlet  for  this  region 
to  the  lakes.  But  the  development  of  railroads  soon  discouraged  that  project. 
The  most  important  lakes  are  on  the  boundary  lines — on  the  Elkhart  line:  East 
Lake  and  Stone  Lake,  the  latter  interesting  as  the  most  beautiful  of  the 
county  and  as  the  scene  of  a  sadly  romantic  tragedy.  One- half  mile  from  this 
place  lies  Fish  Lake,  about  a  mile  in  length,  on  the  State  line.  These  lakes 
are  rendered  very  attractive  by  the  unbroken  sweep  of  sandy  beach  surround- 
ing them,  and  the  picturesqueness  of  the  inclosing  hills.  They  are  part  of  a 
group  which  includes  Klinger's  Lake,  a  well-known  resort  on  the  Lake  Shore 
Railway,  further  to  the  north  across  the  line  in  Michigan.  A  very  large  part 
of  the  land  at  the  first  settlement  was  in  marshes,  and  though  this  area  has 
been  much  reduced,  perhaps  one-eighth  of  the  land  is  marsh.  The  "Big 
Marsh  "  includes  most  of  this  territory.  At  the  January  session  of  the  Com- 
missioners, in  1837,  it  was  ordered  that  all  the  county  north  of  Township  86,  and 
west  of  the  center  line  of  Section  9,  be  set  off  as  Van  Buren  Township,  and 
John  Olney  appointed  Inspector,  and  an  election  set  for  the  first  Monday  in 
April  for  Justice  of  the  Peace,  at  the  house  of  Seldon  Martin.  This  first  elec- 
tion, at  the  site  of  the  village  of  Van  Buren,  called  out  some  thirty  voters,  but 
the  records  are  not  to  be  found,  and  it  is  only  remembered  that  one  Pierce  was 
the  first  Justice.     The  next  incumbent  was  Jesse  Harding. 


VAN  BUREN    TOWNSHIP.  173 

The  first  comers,  so  far  as  known,  were  Jesse  Huntsman,  who  took  pos- 
session of  the  only  piece  of  prairie  land  in  the  township  in  1829,  before  the 
land  was  on  the  market,  and  Nehemiah  Coldren,  who  in  the  same  year  built 
the  first  log  house,  near  the  bridge  over  Crooked  Creek.  Coldren  entered  land 
later  in  Greenfield.  But  the  first  settlement  was  made  east  of  the  village,  on 
land  then  well  timbered,  but  remarkably  clear  from  underbrush,  owing  to  the 
fires  started  by  the  Indians.  Here  the  grass  grew  luxuriantly,  which  was  as 
near  as  could  be  had  to  milk  in  the  absence  of  kine,  and  the  trees  were  full  of 
wild  honey.  The  land  was  open  to  purchase  in  1831,  at  the  land  office  in  Fort 
Wayne,  and  in  this  year  Ami  Lawrence,  Obadiah  Lawrence,  Nathaniel  Calla- 
han and  Asa  Olney  went  from  Lima  to  Fort  Wayne  on  foot,  following  the  In- 
dian trail,  to  enter  farms.  Soon  after,  '"  Uncle  "  Asa  Olney  made  the  same  crip 
alone,  in  a  three  days'  journey.  He  remembers  distinctly  some  incidents  of 
this  tramp  through  the  forests.  The  prairie  wolves  were  numerous  then,  and 
their  noise,  as  they  cracked  the  bones  of  their  evening  meal,  made  no  agreeable 
serenade  as  he  tried  to  sleep.  One  night,  during  his  solitary  journey,  a  party 
of  Pottawatomies  held  a  war  dance  and  jubilee  near  the  place  at  which  he  was 
resting,  over  the  body  of  some  enemy  which  they  had  given  a  quick  pass  to  the 
happy  hunting  grounds.  Asa  Olney  was  called  on  to  serve  on  a  jury  at 
Goshen  before  the  separation  of  La  Grange  from  Elkhart  County.  As  an  in- 
stance of  the  ways  and  means  of  the  pioneers :  Mr.  Olney,  who  entered  at  first 
but  eighty  acres,  enlarged  his  farm  considerably  by  the  proceeds  of  a  two-acre 
patch  of  turnips,  and  a  half  acre  of  melons.  The  new  sandy  land  produced 
wonderful  vines.  Melons  of  thirty  pounds  were  ordinary,  and  pumpkins  fre- 
quently reached  the  comfortable  weight  of  100  pounds.  The  vegetables  found 
a  good  market  at  White  Pigeon  and  Constantino,  Mich.  This  earliest  party  of 
settlers  was  composed  of  Nathaniel  Callahan,  with  his  family,  one  of  whom, 
Ami,  still  lives  in  the  township  (other  sons  died,  Almon,  in  1846,  and  Mills,  in 
May,  1881) ;  Obadiah  Lawrence,  who  died  in  1852 ;  his  brother,  Ami  Law- 
rence (died  1839),  whose  daughter  Annie  was  the  wife  of  the  elder  Callahan ; 
Asa  Olney,  brother-in-law  of  Nathaniel  Callahan,  who,  with  his  wife,  is  still 
living  in  the  township  ;  and  his  brother  John  Olney,  whose  sons,  Jackson  and 
William,  are  still  on  the  homestead.  They  were  all  from  Washington  County, 
Ohio,  and  settled  within  two  miles  east  of  Van  Buren,  at  what  might  be  called 
the  Crooked  Creek  settlement.  In  the  spring  of  1831,  John  Cook,  an  En- 
glishman, entered  land  in  Section  17,  where  his  son  William  still  resides.  Cook 
soon  succumbed  to  pioneer  hardship,  and  died  in  August,  1831.  His  was  the 
first  death  among  the  settlers.  At  the  other  portal  of  existence,  the  first  events 
which  the  chronicler  can  discover  were  the  births  of  a  brother  of  Ami  Calla- 
han, who  died  at  the  age  of  one  year;  of  Sylvanus  Olney,  born  February  20, 
1832,  who  died  here  July  10,  1879,  and  Huldah  Lawrence,  December  25,  1832. 
The  pioneers,  in  the  custom,  since  become  quite  popular  and  romantic,  of  a 
matrimonial  journey  to  Michigan,  were  Hiram  Harding,  of  Lima,  and  Miss  Lola 


174  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

Callahan,  who  were  married  at  White  Pigeon.  Then,  however,  that  was  the 
nearest  place  where  the  legal  sanction  could  be  found.  Since  then,  a  great 
many  lovers,  without  the  same  necessity,  have  made  White  Pigeon  their  Gretna 
Green.  Another  early  wedding  was  that  of  Alfred  Martin,  of  Van  Buren,  and 
Ellen  Hubson,  of  White  Pigeon.  In  1833,  the  neighborhood  was  increased  by 
the  settlement  of  Tyler  Fleming  and  John  and  David  Cowan.  Philip  Munger, 
who  died  about  1842,  and  Kellogg  Munger,  who  lived  until  the  last  decade, 
were  the  new-comers  of  the  next  year. 

In  June,  1835,  Peter  and  Nicholas  I.  Sixby  entered  lands  in  Sections  10 
and  14.  Solomon  Whitney  settled  in  the  Crooked  Creek  neighborhood  in 
1836,  and  Robert  Scott,  who,  however,  died  after  a  year's  residence.  These 
were  families  of  this  neighborhood  for  several  years.  Among  later  comers  was, 
in  1843,  Arby  Crane,  who  afterward  removed  to  Lima  and  La  Grange.  His 
son,  Samuel  D.  Crane,  became  County  Superintendent.  When  the  settlement 
began  again  to  increase  after  the  "sickly  season,"  it  was  in  such  a  rapid  man- 
ner as  to  defy  the  chronicler.  The  first  burial-place  of  the  neighborhood  was 
on  Callahan's  land,  in  Section  17,  where  members  of  the  Callahan  family,  Philip 
Munger  and  Robert  Scott  were  buried.  The  earliest  public  ground  was  in 
Section  20,  on  the  White  Pigeon  road.  On  the  lands  of  Berry  and  John 
Cook,  in  addition  to  these,  there  were  private  burial-places. 

The  first  road  to  be  surveyed  was  through  this  settlement — the  Defiance 
&  White  Pigeon  road — of  which  Judges  Newton  and  Seeley  were  viewers,  and 
John  Kromer,  surveyor.  The  first  county  road  in  the  township  was  laid  out  in 
1838,  joining  the  Defiance  road,  between  Sections  17  and  20  in  the  east.  The 
second  State  road  passed  through  the  center  of  the  township,  and  is  called  the 
Vistula  road,  as  it  was  intended  to  connect  "Vistula  on  the  Maumee  " — now 
Toledo — with  South  Bend.  Thomas  P.  Bulla  and  John  Kromer  surveyed  the 
road  in  1835.  There  were  settlements  along  the  line  of  this  road  south  of  the 
river,  before  the  survey.  John  Belote  and  his  son  Elmer  were  here  in 
October,  1834,  and  built  a  house  on  the  present  Belote  farm  next  year.  The 
father  was  from  Western  New  York,  where  he  had  been  a  member  of  an  inde- 
pendent company  of  horse  in  the  war  of  1812.  He  was  one  of  the  first 
Trustees,  and  held  that  place  for  several  years.  He  died  August  20,  1857,  at 
the  age  of  sixty-two.  Elmer  Belote,  a  steadfast  bachelor,  is  still  a  well-known 
citizen,  and  has  served  the  county  for  two  terms  as  Coroner.  His  brother, 
James  S.  Belote,  died  in  1865.  In  the  winter  of  1834-35,  the  Belotes  built  a 
log  bridge  across  the  river,  on  their  land,  which  endured  seven  or  eight  years. 
Before  that  a  canoe  had  been  used  as  a  makeshift  for  a  ferry  at  this  point,  and 
travelers  on  the  other  side,  with  good  voices,  were  promptly  served.  A  sub- 
stantial bridge  now  spans  the  stream  at  this  point,  and  also  the  Sidener  bridge, 
at  another  old  crossing,  a  mile  below.  William  Tharp,  in  Section  30,  and 
Jacob  Butt,  who  died  here,  in  1868,  aged  seventy-two,  came  in  at  the  same 
time  as  the  Belotes.     In  1835,  Nicholas  Sidener,  of  Clearfield  County,  Ohio, 


>^s 


(L 


U'^T^cy 


yANBURENTP. 


VAN  BUREN    TOWNSHIP.  177 

came  to  his  present  farm  in  Section  30,  and  with  him,  his  brother,  Samuel 
Sidener,  who  afterward  removed.  Samuel  Berry  lived  in  this  vicinity,  George 
Turnbull,  who,  with  Ami  Whitney,  was  chosen  Constable  in  September,  1837, 
were  in  the  neighborhood,  and  Edward  Robbins  and  one  Nobles.  These  were 
probably  all  the  earliest  settlers  here,  and  of  them  only  Nicholas  Sidener  and 
Elmer  Belote  are  still  residents  at  the  writing  of  this  history. 

A  burial-place  in  Section  30,  on  the  Vistula  road,  known  as  the  Belote 
Graveyard,  was  opened  in  1836,  and  is  the  last  resting-place  of  the  following  old 
settlers :  Mrs.  John  Fowler,  died  1851,  aged  fifty-one ;  Sylvanus  Olney ; 
Peter  Fox,  died  1859,  aged  fifty  ;  Jacob  Butt,  John  Belote,  James  S.  Belote 
and  Elisha  Tharp. 

On  the  Vistula  road,  upon  the  present  farm  of  Richard  L.  Newman,  a 
village  was  laid  out  in  June,  1836,  by  Francis  Rhoads,  Isaac  Buckley  and 
Eppah  Robbins,  who  were  then  the  owners  of  the  land.  The  village  was 
named  Marion  and  a  tavern  was  erected  by  the  owner  of  the  plat,  and  a  store 
started  by  James  Belote  and  Buckley.  By  the  vigorous  efforts  of  the  project- 
ors of  Marion,  quite  a  "huddle  "  was  built  up,  but  it  soon  became  evident  that 
it  could  never  grow  up  to  the  paper,  and  the  owners  of  the  lots  joined  in  a 
petition  to  have  the  village  resolved  into  wheat  fields,  and  thus  Marion  disap- 
peared forever.  John  Fowler  lived  in  the  place  for  a  short  time.  He  was  the 
owner  of  a  distillery  near  Buck  Creek.  Best  was  another  of  the  residents. 
A  saw-mill  was  built  by  Harding  &  Johnson  on  Buck  Creek  in  1836  and  run 
for  several  years. 

The  western  portion  of  the  township  began  to  receive  settlers  about  1836. 
In  November  of  this  year,  Peter  L.  Keightley,  brother  of  John  Keightley,  of 
Newbury,  a  native  of  Lincolnshire,  England,  came  into  the  township  and 
occupied  his  land  in  Section  22.  Mr.  Keightley  used  to  take  the  liberties 
ordinary  in  the  old  country  with  the  letter  "  h."  Not  far  from  his  place  there 
was  a  tree  in  the  road  with  the  letter  L  cut  upon  it,  which  was  a  well-known 
land-mark,  and  it  is  still  told  that  Mr.  Keightley 's  manner  of  directing  travelers 
to  "go  to  the  heL,"  and  so  on,  would  frequently  cause  a  misunderstanding. 
Mr.  Keightley  is  still  an  honored  resident  of  the  neighborhood  where  he  has 
spent  so  much  of  his  life. 

About  1837,  there  settled  west  of  Van  Buren,  Jacob  Moak,  whose  son 
Peter  now  lives  near  the  State  line.  Other  settlers,  west  of  the  river,  up  to 
1840,  were  Robert  and  John  Marshall,  Englishmen,  Bower,  George  W.  Fergu- 
son, Garel  Osborne,  John  Sallier  (who  made  the  first  clearing  in  the  southwest, 
and  died  before  1840),  and  several  on  the  Vistula  road  near  the  county  line, 
including  Widow  Dodd,  William  Mack,  whose  sons  are  still  upon  the  old  farm  ; 
and  at  Stone  Lake,  William  Davis,  a  friendly  Quaker  who  is  kindly  remem- 
bered. 

The  first  burial-ground  in  this  vicinity  was  near  the  county  line,  in 
what  was  called   the   Mack   settlement.     The   first   interment  was   of  Josiah 


178  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

Remington,  at  which  the  sermon  was  preached  by  a  young  minister,  John  P. 
Jones,  since  prominent  in  county  and  State  history. 

Charles  D  wight,  with  his  wife  and  child,  came  to  the  quarter  section  which 
he  now  resides  upon,  March  9,  1841.  Mr.  D  wight  in  his  early  days  was  a 
boatman  upon  the  Erie  Canal  in  New  York.  He  is  a  member  of  the  seventh 
generation  in  America  of  this  distinguished  family.  His  later  life  has  been 
saddened  by  the  tragedy  of  which  an  account  is  given  elsewhere,  in  which  his 
youngest  daughter  was  the  victim.  In  1843,  Alonzo  Clark  settled  near  the 
county  line,  and  Aaron  Freeman,  still  a  prominent  citizen  of  the  township,  came 
upon  his  farm  in  the  same  year. 

Crooked  Creek  curves  down  into  Indiana,  inclosing  with  a  lake  to  the  north 
a  fertile  territory  called  "  The  Island."  This  land  was  held  by  speculators  at 
first,  and  one  of  the  earliest  actual  settlements  upon  it  was  by  John  Dalton  in 
1840.  Mr.  Dalton  had  been  with  his  brother  James  in  White  Pigeon  since 
1836,  where  he  had  come  from  Rochester,  N.  Y.  In  1850,  he  bought  the  Van 
Buren  Mills,  and  has  since  resided  in  the  village,  where  he  has  a  comfortable 
residence.  Mr.  Dalton,  starting  with  little  of  this  world's  goods,  has  amassed 
a  considerable  fortune. 

About  1850,  a  settlement  was  started  in  the  southwest  corner  called  New 
Pennsylvania.  John  L.  Rhoades,  Jacob  Mehl  and  John  Foster  were  the  earli- 
est settlers,  but  all  have  removed.  They  were  all  Pennsylvanians.  The 
schoolhouse  on  this  section  now  bears  the  name  of  the  settlement.  John  Kling- 
aman  made  the  latest  original  entry  of  land,  taking  the  southeast  quarter  of  this 
section  in  May,  1848. 

About  the  year  1840,  the  population  began  to  increase  rapidly,  and  as  a 
consequence  the  prices  of  provisions  began  a  considerable  rise.  This  was  possi- 
ble, however,  and  the  prices  do  not  seem  extravagant  at  this  time.  In  1834, 
wheat  drawn  to  Constantine,  Mich.,  brought  only  35  cents,  and  corn  18  cents, 
but  in  1836  the  prices  were  doubled.  Before  the  Van  Buren  Mills  were  built, 
about  a  week  would  be  consumed  in  going  to  mill,  and  farmers  often  preferred 
to  grind  a  small  grist  in  a  common  coffee-mill.  It  was  delicate  work  raising 
wheat  then.  About  one-sixth  of  it  was  apt  to  be  smutty,  and  the  cereal  had  to 
be  washed  and  spread  out  to  dry  upon  the  upper  chamber  floors.  Farmers 
of  the  early  day  hardly  dreamed  of  the  wholesale  methods  of  modern  agri- 
culture. 

By  1837,  the  land  was  practically  all  taken  up  by  actual  settlers  and  spec- 
tators, and  was  held  at  $5  per  acre.  The  most  efficient  aid  in  the  development 
of  the  country  has  been  the  building  of  the  Michigan  Southern  Railway, 
through  one  of  the  early  trading  points.  White  Pigeon.  At  that  time  land  at 
once  rose  from  $10  to  $20  per  acre.  Since  then  the  advance  in  prosperity  has 
been  steady  and  marked.  The  population  has  gradually  increased  and  em- 
braces, besides  those  already  named,  many  men  of  wealth  and  social  importance. 
In  politics  the   township  has  been  steadily  Republican.     The  records  show  the 


VAN  BUREN    TOWNSHIP.  179 

following  persons  to  have  served  as  Justices  of  the  Peace,  though  the  list  may 
not  be  complete  :  Alfred  Martin,  1841-46  ;  Charles  Dwight,  1844-49  ;  Da- 
vid Elmore,  1844-49 ;  H.  B.  Ostrander,  1849-54  ;  Josiah  B.  Cook,  1851-52 ; 
C.  W.  Wilson,  1852-68  ;  John  W.  Mclntyre,  1854-58 ;  C.  W.  Chapin,  1867- 
77  ;  James  Galloway,  1869-73  ;  James  Haggerty,  1877  ;  Edwin  Owen,  1878. 

Schools  were  a  matter  to  which  the  eai-liest  comers  gave  their  attention. 
Until  the  sale  of  the  school  lands,  the  settlers  paid  their  teachers  directly, 
which  was  not  a  severe  tax,  as  the  usual  rate  was  about  $1  a  week. 
Clarissa  Hunger  was  the  first  school-ma'am,  and  gathered  the  young  ideas  at  a 
log  schoolhouse  on  the  land  of  Nathaniel  Callahan  in  Section  17.  Later,  a 
school  was  started  at  the  village,  in  1835,  at  Marion,  and,  in  1836  or  1837, 
another  south  of  the  river  at  Nicholas  Sidener's,  where  a  graveyard  now  is. 
In  the  west  the  earliest  were  the  Marshall  Schoolhouse  on  the  Vistula  road,  the 
Bethel  on  Section  17,  and  a  log  house  on  the  shore  of  Stone  Lake. 

There  are  now  in  the  township  ten  neat  frame  houses,  valued  at  $6,000, 
which  are  attended  by  410  pupils.  Eleven  teachers  are  employed  at  an  aver- 
age rate  of  $1.50  for  men  and  $1.37  for  women.  In  1880,  some  $2,500  were 
expended  for  tuition. 

The  history  of  the  churches  is  another  matter  intimately  connected  with 
the  lives  of  the  people.  A  Methodist  Episcopal  society  yet  exists  at  Van 
Buren,  which  was  organized  in  1834  by  Charles  Best,  an  Ohio  exhorter.  There 
were  about  five  members,  including  Esther  and  John  Olney  and  Nancy  Calla- 
han. The  first  preacher  in  the  township  was  Christopher  Cory,  a  Presbyterian 
minister,  then  of  White  Pigeon.  In  1848,  the  Methodist  Church  at  Van 
Buren  was  erected,  and  has  since  been  used  as  a  union  meeting-house. 

In  the  west,  the  earliest  religious  meetings  were  held  at  the  house  of  Jason 
and  George  Jones,  north  of  the  old  Bethel  Schoolhouse,  in  1841  or  1842, 
Prayer-meetings  were  held  there,  and  at  the  time  of  the  Millerite  excitement 
they  were  largely  attended.  It  was  in  "about  1843"  that  the  world  was  to 
finish  up  its  career,  and  the  year  before,  1842,  Elders  Speers,  Stalker  and 
Burns,  of  "somewhere  about"  Orland,  commenced  revival  meetings  in  the  old 
Callahan  Schoolhouse.  A  very  exciting  and  memorable  time  followed.  The 
meetings  lasted  six  weeks,  and  about  forty  persons  were  converted.  The  Bap- 
tist Church  in  Van  Buren  was  organized  in  1858,  with  fifteen  members.  Since 
then  they  have  steadily  maintained  their  meetings,  and  have  since  received 
some  forty  members ;  but,  owing  to  constant  changes  in  residence,  the  society  is 
hardly  more  numerous  now  than  at  first.  In  1864,  a  Methodist  society  was 
organized  at  the  Marshall  Schoolhouse  by  George  W.  Newton. 

The  Protestant  Methodist  society  in  Van  Buren  was  organized  by  Fred 
Soy  about  1851,  with  twenty-five  or  thirty  members,  as  the  result  of  an  exten- 
sive revival.  About  1869,  an  "  Abright "  or  Evangelist  Church  was  organ- 
ized and  a  church  built  on  the  Defiance  road,  two  miles  east  of  the  village,  at  a 
<30St  of  about  $2,400.     There  were  about  fifty  members  in  1881. 


180  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

The  only  county  officers  the  township  has  furnished  besides  Coroner 
Belote  have  been  Gabriel  T.  Mclntyre,  who  was  a  resident-  of  the  township  a 
year  or  two  before  his  election  as  Sheriff,  in  1853,  and  Seldon  Martin,  who 
was  elected  a  Commissioner  in  1837. 

The  township  has  suffered  very  little  from  crime.  There  is  a  remembrance 
of  one  case  of  horse  stealing,  in  1844  or  1845,  from  Henry  Albert.  The  free- 
dom of  the  people  of  late  from  these  marauders  is  no  doubt  due  to  the  organ- 
ization of  a  Protective  Association,  September,  1866.  This  was  re-organized 
for  ten  years  in  1876,  and  had,  in  1881,  sixty-five  members,  and  $135  in  the 
treasury,  devoted  to  the  capture  of  criminals.  The  association  is  so  organized 
that  a  strong  body  of  men  can  be  collected,  at  any  point,  in  an  exceedingly 
short  time.  An  annual  meeting  of  the  members  is  required  each  year,  in  Sep- 
tember. In  1880-81,  the  officers  were  Frank  Galloway,  President ;  John 
McDonald,  Treasurer  ;  and  William  Bycroft,  Secretary. 

The  saddest  tragedy  in  the  annals  of  the  county  took  place,  singularly 
enough,  on  the  quiet,  charming  beach  of  Stone  Lake,  where  one  would  expect 
nothing  but  the  ripple  of  the  waves,  the  songs  of  the  birds,  and  the  laughter  of 
children,  which  this  mad  crime  so  rudely  disturbed.  Addie  Dwight,  a  charm- 
ing young  lady  of  eighteen  years,  who  was  admired  and  respected  by  all  who 
met  her,  the  youngest  daughter  of  Charles  Dwight,  was  teaching  at  the  Lake 
Schoolhouse  and  took  her  pupils  down  to  the  lake  at  noon,  on  June  22,  1871, 
to  give  them  a  promised  frolic  on  the  beach.  While  here,  unconscious  of  any 
danger,  Chauncey  Barnes,  a  young  man  living  near  this  place,  in  Elkhart 
County,  drove  up,  accompanied  by  a  young  woman  of  White  Pigeon, 
and  asked  for  an  interview  with  the  school-teacher.  They  walked  away 
together  for  a  short  distance.  Barnes  had,  for  some  time,  been  paying  marked 
attentions  to  Miss  Dwight,  but  she  had  declined  to  receive  his  company,  and 
his  attempts  at  a  reconciliation  had  been  in  vain.  He  took  his  disappointment 
very  much  to  heart,  and,  suffering  from  jealousy,  he  went  to  see  her  this  day 
for  a  last  attempt,  and  madly  resolved  to  end  her  life  and  his,  if  he  could  not 
win  her.  As  the  children  came  toward  the  two,  seated  together  at  some  dis- 
tance, a  pistol  shot  was  heard,  and  Addie  was  seen,  with  her  hands  raised,  beg- 
ging for  her  life.  But  a  second  bullet  was  sent  crashing  through  her  head,  and 
she  fell  dead  at  the  feet  of  her  lover  and  murderer.  Barnes  then  emptied  the 
revolver  into  his  own  head,  and  when  the  neighbors  came  to  the  scene,  though 
bleeding  horribly,  he  was  re-loading  his  revolver,  determined  to  take  his  own 
life.  The  murderer  was  confined  in  the  county  jail,  and  for  some  time  was  at 
the  point  of  death,  but  finally  recovered.  At  his  trial,  the  defense  was  insanity, 
but  though  ably  defended,  he  was  found  guilty  of  murder,  and  sentenced  to  the 
penitentiary  for  life.  He  is  still  confined  there.  This  causeless  crime,  which 
so  cruelly  blotted  out  an  innocent  young  life,  aroused  great  feeling  throughout 
the  county,  and  much  sympathy  was  expressed  for  the  victim,  and  indignation 
toward   the  murderer.     This  latter,  however,  was  softened  by  his  attempted 


oJ^^^LCr^  J".^^ 


VAN  BUREN  TP. 


VAN  BUREN    TOWNSHIP.  183 

suicide,  and  the  sorrow  of  his  family.  It  was  one  of  those  events  which, 
though  having  a  tinge  of  romance  in  history  and  stories  of  love  and  sorrow, 
are  too  terribly  tragic  in  the  real  life  of  one's  own  generation. 

Since  that  time,  the  history  of  the  township  has  afforded  little  of  interest. 
In  1880,  according  to  the  census  of  that  year,  there  were  ten  residents  of  the  town- 
ship, each  of  whom  was  seventy-five  years  of  age,  or  over,  their  names  being,  with 
their  respective  ages :  Ann  Brockway,  seventy-eight ;  Robert  Smith,  seventy- 
six  ;  Maria  Hoff,  seventy-five  ;  Elizabeth  Smith,  seventy-five  ;  John  H.  Hoof- 
nagle,  eighty-three  ;  Elizabeth  Dayton,  seventy-five  ;  David  Seybert,  eighty- 
one  ;  Henry  Young,  seventy-five  ;  Lydia  Young,  seventy-five  ;  Andrew  Hen- 
kle,  eighty-five. 

Van  Buren  is  the  only  village,  and  Scott  is  the  only  post  office  in  the 
township,  and  these  are  one  and  the  same.  The  original  plat  of  the  village 
was  owned  by  the  Martin  brothers — Seldon,  Phylammen  and  Alfred — who 
bought  280  acres  in  this  section  of  the  Government  in  December,  1833.  In 
1837,  the  village  was  surveyed  by  Delevan  Martin.  The  plat  was  in  April, 
1844,  enlarged  by  an  addition  at  the  north  by  Nicholas  N  Sixby.  Before 
the  plat  was  surveyed,  the  enterprises  were  established  which  have  since  been 
the  chief  feature  of  the  town — the  lumber  and  flouring  mills.  The  Martins 
built  a  saw-mill  upon  the  fine  water-power  which  the  Pigeon  affords  at  this 
point,  in  the  summer  of  1834,  and,  during  the  next,  erected  a  flouring-mill. 
The  mosquitoes  were  formidable  at  that  time,  and  it  is  said  that  the  Martins 
could  not  sleep  until  they  constructed  a  platform  up  in  the  trees,  where  the 
troublesome  insects  would  be  less  numerous.  The  old  mills  have,  of  course, 
disappeared,  and,  since  then,  mills  have  been  put  in,  capable  of  turning  out,  in 
the  palmy  days  of  Van  Buren,  15,000  barrels  of  flour  per  year,  and  350,000 
feet  of  lumber.     But  at  the  present  time,  little  more  than  custom  work  is  done. 

James  Haggerty,  who  was,  in  1881,  still  living  in  Van  Buren,  came  to  the 
place  in  1835,  having  exchanged  his  land  in  Michigan  for  mill  property.  Mr. 
Haggerty  was  originally  from  New  Jersey,  where  he  lived  in  the  town  of  New 
Brunswick,  just  across  the  street  from  old  Commodore  Vanderbilt,  whom  the 
old  pioneer  remembers  gratefully  as  a  kind  neighbor  and  generous  patron. 
His  brother,  Michael  Haggerty,  was  here  in  1837,  but  removed,  and  returned 
in  1855,  since  when  he  has  been  a  resident  of  the  village,  and  for  some  time 
Justice  of  the  Peace.  In  1836,  Pierce  built  a  blacksmith  shop,  and  was 
rewarded  for  his  enterprise  by  being  elected,  in  1837,  the  first  Justice.  Thus 
the  village  smithy  became  the  hall  of  justice.  Harvey  B.  Ostrander,  about 
the  same  time,  established  himself  in  the  cooper  business,  one  Crary  built  a 
wagon-shop,  and  C.  Z.  Barnes,  carpenter,  came  to  town.  L.  D.  Brooks  built 
a  house  on  Lot  5,  in  Sixby's  Addition,  and  kept  a  tavern.  A  physician,  Dr. 
Sidney  Cobb,  lived  in  the  village  about  a  year,  then  dying,  he  was  succeeded 
by  Dr.  William  Fox  in  1838.  His  brothers,  George  and  James  Fox,  were  the 
shoemakers  of  the  town.     John  Rank  and  father,  Joel  H,  Sanford,  Kellogg 


184  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

Hunger  and  Miner  were  among  the  residents.  Thus  it  will  be  seen  that  Van 
Buren  in  its  early  days  was  a  flourishing  and  promising  settlement,  and  would 
have  fulfilled  all  its  early  promise  had  it  not  been  for  the  perverse  running  of 
the  railway  too  far  to  the  north.  A  log  house,  owned  by  Pierce,  vacated  in 
1837,  and  donated  to  the  township,  was  the  first  schoolhouse  in  the  village. 
There  is  now  a  two-story  frame  building,  26x40,  devoted  to  this  purpose. 

In  1836,  the  Martins  started  a  distillery  in  a  large  log  building  near  the 
mill,  and  ran  the  establishment  until  after  1840,  when  the  removal  of  the 
Indians  terminated  the  greater  demand  for  a  distillery.  Another  one  was  run 
for  some  time  after,  at  the  Hart  place,  below  the  mills.  A  post  office  was 
established  at  Van  Buren  under  the  name  of  Scott,  in  1836,  and  was  upon  the 
line  between  White  Pigeon  and  Fort  Wayne.  Clark  was  the  first  Postmaster. 
A  frame  church  was  built  about  1858,  and  is  still  in  use  by  all  the  denomina- 
tions. In  1881,  there  were  two  stores  in  the  village,  owned  by  Frank  Gal- 
loway and  Dr.  W.  B.  Grubb,  who  has  practiced  medicine  here  since  1865. 
Dr.  A.  Toms  is  another  physician  at  this  place.  William  Allison,  a  resident 
of  the  village  since  1867,  and  of  the  township  since  1860,  has  held  the  posi- 
tion of  Trustee  for  ten  years  in  succession,  and,  in  1881,  was  commencing 
another  series  of  years.  He  has  proved  one  of  the  most  efficient  officers  in 
the  county. 


C  HAP  T  E  R     X. 


BY  R.H.  KERICK. 


Eden  Township— Physical  Features— The  First  Settlers— Incidents  of 
Their  Life  in  the  Woods— Erection  of  Mills,  Stores,  etc.— Valuable 
Statistics— The  "  Haw  Patch  "—Township  Officials— The  Growth  of 
Education  and  Religion— The  Sycamore  Literary  Society. 

THE  southeastern  quarter  of  Eden  Township  is  included  in  that  broad  area 
of  fertile  country  which  the  early  settlers  called  the  Haw  Patch.  About 
one  Congressional  township  of  land  in  La  Grange  and  Noble  Counties  is 
embraced  in  this  tract,  which  is  distinguished  thi-oughout  by  a  rich  soil,  freedom 
from  marshes,  level,  or  very  gently  rolling  surface,  and  a  perfect  adaptability 
to  successful  agriculture.  At  the  opening  of  the  country  to  settlement,  it  was 
densely  covered  by  beautiful  forests,  in  which  sugar  maple  and  black  walnut 
were  most  abundant,  and  remarkably  free  from  small  growths,  except  hawthorn 
and  wild  grapes.  The  abundance  of  the  hawthorn  was  the  most  striking 
peculiarity  of  the  region,  and  gave  rise  to  the  name  by  which  it  is  so  widely 
known.  Now  that  the  forests  and  the  hawthorns  have  vanished,  the  region  has 
taken  on  another  style  of  beauty,  and  is  made  doubly  attractive  by  splendidly 
kept  farms  and  elegant  residences,  where  every  comfort  possible  has  taken  the 
place  of  the  hardships  of  log-cabin  days. 

This  is  the  Eden  of  the  township.  But  to  the  north  and  west  lie  the  great 
marshes  which  are  the  sources  of  the  two  forks  of  the  Little  Elkhart.  These 
marshes  furnish  a  great  deal  of  hay,  and  are  the  home  of  an  abundance  of 
game,  but  are,  nevertheless,  a  dreary  waste,  and  it  is  likely  irreclaimable  for 
some  time  to  come,  at  least.  Persistent  efforts  are  being  made  to  drain  them, 
but  the  continual  drying  of  the  country  in  general  will  probably  prove  to  be 
the  most  efficient  aid  in  their  improvement. 

To  the  west  of  the  Big  Marsh  lie  a  few  sections  of  good  land,  but  with  a 
soil  which  contains  more  clay  than  that  of  the  Haw  Patch. 

No  lakes  or  streams  of  any  value  are  found  within  the  township. 

There  is  some  dispute  about  the  first  settlement  of  the  township,  but  the 
account  here  given  is  believed  to  be  the  correct  one.  This  is,  that  the  Latta 
family  -were  the  first  in  Eden.  In  1830,  Robert  Latta,  who  lived  near  Urbana, 
Ohio,  came  to  Goshen  to  bring  medicine  and  stores  to  his  son,  Johnston  Latta, 
who  was  then  a  practicing  physician  in  that  settlement.  While  at  Goshen,  the 
elder  Latta  heard  from  surveyors  who  had  been  through  La  Grange  County  of 
the  fine  Haw  Patch  land,  and  he  visited  it  on  his  return,  and  it  seemed  to  justify 
all  the  praise  he  had  heard.     He  had  a  good  farm  in  Ohio,  under  cultivation, 


186  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

but  he  longed  for  new  forests  to  conquer.  Accordingly,  in  the  spring  of  1832, 
leaving  his  Ohio  home,  he  came  to  the  Haw  Patch,  with  his  wife  and  daughter, 
Achsah.  His  log  house  was  built  on  Section  26.  In  the  fall  of  the  same  year, 
William  McConnell,  of  Ohio,  settled  in  Section  35,  south  of  the  Latta  home, 
with  his  wife  and  sons,  James,  Alexander,  Thomas  C.  and  William  A.,  and  a 
daughter,  Mary  Ann,  who  was  married  November  17,  1835,  to  Isaac  Spencer. 
The  McConnells  had  a  remarkable  leaning  for  public  affairs,  and  since  then 
there  have  been  few  matters  of  public  interest  in  and  about  the  Haw  Patch  in 
which  they  did  not  have  a  prominent  part.  The  other  well-known  family  which 
preceded  them  was  not  less  public-spirited,  and,  as  was  very  natural,  a  rivalry 
soon  arose.  There  were  special  reasons  for  this.  Latta  was  a  Whig,  and 
McConnell  a  Democrat ;  the  former  was  a  Methodist,  the  latter  a  Presbyterian. 
The  contest  early  showed  itself  in  the  purchase  of  land,  and  the  result  was 
that  each  was  the  owner  of  about  eighteen  eighty-acre  tracts,  which  was  con- 
siderably more  forest  land  than  was  profitable  in  those  days.  Much  of  it  was 
afterward  given  away.  Eighty  acres  were  given  as  pay  for  one  man's  work  for 
a  year,  and  a  job  of  rail  splitting  was  the  consideration  for  another  considerable 
piece  of  land.  In  1841,  Dr.  Johnston  Latta  moved  to  the  Haw  Patch,  giving  up 
his  practice,  and  lived  upon  the  old  homestead  until  his  death,  in  1873,  at  the 
age  of  sixty-five.  His  widow,  Martha  L.,  still  lives  here,  adjoining  the  farm 
of  her  son,  James  Norman  Latta.  The  McConnells,  in  later  years,  were  more 
prominent  in  Noble  than  La  Grange  County  history.  They  have. now  no  liv- 
ing representative  of  their  name  in  the  township.  But  the  family  graveyard 
still  receives,  from  time  to  time,  some  descendant  of  the  old  pioneer.  It  is  a 
suggestive  fact  that  this  family  burying-place  lies  just  across  the  road  from  the 
site  established  for  similar  purposes  by  Robert  Latta,  and  where  he  now  rests. 
The  first  burial  in  the  former  yard  was  of  Thomas  C.  McConnell,  who  died  in 
1836,  at  the  age  of  twenty-six.  Here,  also,  lie  William  McConnell,  who  died 
at  his  home  south  of  Eden  Chapel,  April  13,  1848,  aged  sixty -seven  ;  Agnes, 
his  wife,  died  in  1851,  aged  sixty-six  ;  their  sons,  Alexander  and  William  A., 
and  others  of  a  later  generation.  The  eldest  son,  James,  of  considerable  note 
in  Noble  County  history,  died  at  Albion,  June  2,  1881.  In  1832,  as  near  as 
can  be  ascertained,  William  Dempsey,  of  Ohio,  and  his  young  wife,  came  to  the 
township  and  lived  on  land  in  Section  35.  He  died  about  thirteen  years  later. 
Early  in  the  next  year,  Nehemiah  Coldren,  another  Ohio  man,  settled  in  Sec- 
tion 13,  and  in  1837  his  brother,  Harvey,  on  the  same  section.  Sibyl,  the 
wife  of  Nehemiah,  died  in  1848,  and  he  in  1871,  at  the  age  of  seventy-one. 
Harvey  Coldren  died  seven  years  later. 

There  also  came  in  the  spring  of  this  year,  Laban  Parks,  with  his  family, 
including  an  eight-year-old  son,  Harlan,  who  recently  died  upon  the  old  farm 
on  Section  25.  Before  his  settlement,  Laban  Parks  and  Anthony  Nelson  had 
come  over  from  Elkhart  Prairie,  where  Parks  had  been  since  1830,  and  viewed 
this  country  over  before  there  were  any  marks  of  the  presence  of  white  men. 


EDEN    TOWNSHIP.  187 

Laban  Parks  died  in  November,  1870.  A  few  months  after  Parks  had  settled, 
Anthony  Nelson  followed,  and  built  his  log  house  a  short  distance  west,  upon 
the  Clearspring  Township  line.  The  first  part  of  his  house  was  built  in  Eden, 
but  an  addition  was  soon  made  in  Clearspring.  Kensell  Kent,  of  New  York, 
settled  in  1833,  and  was  one  of  the  early  owners  of  the  land  on  which  Slab- 
town  now  flourishes.  He  moved  to  Iowa,  and  died  there  in  1879.  Reuben 
McKeever,  of  Virginia,  was  living  in  1833  on  Section  27,  but  in  later  years 
emigrated  to  Iowa.  During  this  year  or  the  next,  Samuel  Curl,  of  Ohio,  a 
son-in-law  of  Robert  Latta,  moved  to  the  Haw  Patch,  and  settled  on  Section 
35,  and  his  brother,  John  Curl,  at  the  same  time  on  Section  26.  Samuel  Curl 
died  in  1863,  and  John  Curl  and  family  removed  from  the  township.  About 
1834,  Obed  Gaines,  of  New  York,  built  his  cabin,  in  which  early  elections  took 
place,  a  quarter  of  a  mile  north  of  Sycamore  Corners,  on  the  township  line, 
but  was  not  long  a  resident.  He  was  the  only  settler  who  raised  hops  for  sale. 
In  October,  1834,  Mrs.  Elizabeth  Ramsby,  a  widow  lady,  with  her  family, 
moved  upon  land  in  Section  27,  where  her  son,  John  S.  Ramsby,  now  resides. 
Mrs.  Ramsby  died  upon  the  old  homestead  November  12,  1869,  aged  eighty 
years.  John  S.  Ramsby  settled  here  in  1835,  and  besides  being  a  wealthy 
farmer,  has  become  noted  as  an  admirer  of  the  chase.  Deer  and  bears  in  the 
early  days,  and  foxes  and  coons  of  later  years,  furnished  the  sport.  The  marsh 
has  been  an  unfailing  source  of  game.  Bears,  of  course,  have  long  since  gone. 
Thirty  years  ago,  Mr.  Ramsby  captured  three,  but  since  then  only  a  straggler 
has  now  and  then  appeared.  Deer  were  very  numerous  at  the  first  settlement, 
so  much  so  as  to  be  troublesome.  The  pretty  animals  had  a  great  fancy  for 
pawing  up  the  young  wheat  with  their  dainty  hoofs,  and  meddling  with  the 
husked  corn  before  it  was  put  away.  But  they  soon  vanished  before  the  hunt- 
er. Trapping  in  the  marshes,  especially  of  the  little  animal  of  bad  repute  and 
valuable  hide,  coon  hunting,  and  following  the  hounds  after  "Reynard,"  have 
been  sources  of  much  recreation  and  no  little  profit  since  the  first  settlement 
of  Eden.     But  to  return  to  the  settlers. 

On  the  1st  of  October,  1835,  John  Thompson,  from  Ohio,  reached 
the  land  upon  which  he  has  since  lived.  He  bought  his  farm  from  Mark 
Cahoon,  who  had  been  upon  the  land  long  enough  to  make  a  little  clear- 
ing, and  who,  after  marrying  Ann  Modie,  a  member  of  another  early  fam- 
ily, in  November,  1835,  moved  further  west  after  Mr.  Thompson's  arrival. 
The  price  paid  for  this  land  was  $4.37  per  acre,  a  little  below  the 
average  price  of  land  partially  improved.  Wild  land  was  held  at  double 
the  Government  price.  Mr.  Thompson,  soon  after  his  arrival,  was  called 
upon  to  administer  justice  as  Squire,  and,  besides  township  ofiices,  repre- 
sented Noble  and  La  Grange  Counties  in  the  Lower  House  in  1841.  In 
those  days,  the  people's  law-makers  had  to  make  the  journey  to  Indianapolis  on 
horseback,  and  undergo  great  tribulation  on  the  road  for  the  sake  of  legislati  ve 
honors,  at  a  salary  of  $3.00  per  day.     Mr.  Thompson  was  afterward  (1856-60) 


188  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

a  member  of  the  State  Senate  for  two  terms,  and  has  always  been  prominent  in 
political  aflFairs.  James  Taylor,  another  old  settler,  came  with  Mr.  Thompson, 
and  entered  land  in  Section  23,  where  he  died  in  1880.  His  widow  still  lives 
upon  the  farm.  William  Parks,  a  brother  of  Laban,  settled  on  Section  27  in 
1835,  and  joined  in  the  emigration  to  Iowa  about  fifteen  years  ago.  Orvin 
Kent  was  at  the  Haw  Patch  in  the  spring  of  1833,  and  bought  land.  He  was 
here  again  in  1835,  but  did  not  settle  permanently  until  1847,  after  his  marriage 
in  Ohio,  He  then  built  a  home  upon  his  land  in  Eden,  at  Sycamore  Corners. 
Mr.  Kent  has  for  a  number  of  years  lived  in  Clearspring,  but  his  two  places  of 
residence  are  upon  the  town  line  road.  Mr.  Kent  has  always  been  interested  in 
the  welfare  of  the  Haw  Patch,  and  has  done  much  in  aid  of  its  social  and  mate- 
rial improvement. 

The  whole  number  of  householders  in  Eden,  in  the  fall  of  1835,  was  fif- 
teen, and  the  men,  women  and  children  all  told  numbered  seventy-tn^o. 

In  1836,  William  Collett  settled  on  the  Haw  Patch.  His  son,  William  C. 
Collett,  was  in  later  years  prominently  identified  with  the  Granger  movement 
in  Indiana.  The  other  son,  Jacob  Collett,  married  Anna  Mary  Swart,  who  haa 
the  distinction  of  being  the  first  born  in  the  township.  They  removed  to  Iowa. 
In  1837,  John  Denny,  his  wife  Mary,  and  sons,  settled  on  Section  35,  where 
Mrs.  Denny  yet  resides,  at  the  advanced  age  of  eighty-four. 

About  this  time,  the  settlement  of  the  region  west  of  the  marsh  began. 
Robert  McKibben  settled  here  in  1836,  but  moved  West  in  1850;  John  and 
Andrew  Funk  in  1837 ;  in  1838,  David  Carr,  who  moved  to  Ligonier  and  died 
there,  and  Thomas  Short,  who  still  resides  on  Section  6.  John  Prough  settled 
on  Section  18  in  1842.  In  the  same  year,  William  H.  Poyser  and  John  Poy- 
ser  settled  in  this  neighborhood,  but  the  former  removed  to  the  Haw  Patch  eight 
years  later  and  now  lives  on  Section  27.  After  1835,  the  settlement  of  the 
township  increased  rapidly,  and  this  department  of  the  history  will  not  permit 
any  extended  notice  of  the  later  comers.  It  is  mainly  in  the  first  settlers  that 
all  feel  an  interest.  Their  comings  and  goings  and  haps  and  mishaps  are 
worthy  of  note,  while  similar  occurrences  of  to-day  concern  few  besides  those 
who  are  immediately  interested. 

Eden  Township  was  organized  in  November,  1832.  Its  formation  was  the 
second  division  made  in  the  county,  being  a  subdivision  of  Lima  Township. 
But  this  township,  as  the  order  of  the  Commissioners  read,  was  to  include  "all 
that  tract  of  territory  south  of  Township  37  and  west  of  the  range  line  divid- 
ing Ranges  9  and  10 ;"  that  is,  it  included  the  present  townships  of  Edoi  and 
Clearspring  and  ran  south  of  Ligonier.  La  Grange  County  then  included 
part  of  Noble.  The  election  was  ordered  to  be  held  at  the  house  of  John  Hos- 
tettler,  who  lived  near  the  county  line,  in  Perry  Township,  on  the  first  Monday 
of  April.,  1833,  for  the  purpose  of  electing  two  Justices  of  the  Peace. 

Who  these  first  officers  were  cannot  be  said  from  the  records.  Township 
records  of  that  time  have  vanished  and  the  county  records  are  silent.    William 


EDEN    TOWNSHIP.  189 

McConnell,  however,  is  claimed  to  be  the  first  Justice  of  the  Peace.  The 
earliest  record  to  be  found  of  his  official  acts  is  of  the  marriage  of  Minerva 
Gaines  to  Norman  Sessions,  February  8,  1835.  John  Thompson  was  elected 
and  served  as  Justice  a  short  time  after  he  settled  here. 

On  the  7th  of  May,  1833,  the  Commissioners  made  a  further  division  of 
the  territory,  setting  off  that  portion  of  Eden  south  of  the  Elkhart  River  as 
Perry  Township.  At  a  later  date,  all  the  Noble  County  territory  was  sepa- 
rated. At  the  March  term,  1837,  Clearspring  Township  was  set  off  from 
Eden,  and  that  date  may  be  taken  as  the  official  beginning  of  the  township  as 
it  is  now  defined. 

In  1845,  the  Town  Clerk,  Mr.  John  Thompson,  made  an  entry  nunc  pro 
tunc,  and  noted,  as  his  apology,  that  it  got  out  of  place  in  copying,  for  no  books 
had  been  provided  by  the  Trustees,  as  required  by  the  State,  "until  the  present 
time,  March  1,  1845."  Before  this  the  proceedings  of  the  Trustees  had  been 
jotted  down  loosely,  and  all  the  notes  made  before  1842  were  lost.  On  June  6, 
1842,  the  records  show  the  township  was  divided  into  four  road  districts,  with 
Anthony  Nelson,  William  Swartz,  Silas  Longcor  and  Andrew  W.  Martin  as 
Supervisors.  The  elections  were  ordered  to  be  held  at  John  Thompson's.  The 
Trustees  elected  in  1842  were  Robert  McKibben,  James  Taylor  and  Mahlon 
Hutchinson.  John  Thompson  was  elected  Clerk  and  held  the  place  after  this 
for  four  years.  The  Trustees  were  then  paid  $2.50  for  their  year's  services  and 
the  Clerk  $2.  In  1844,  there  were  five  road  districts,  and  a  tax  of  10  cents 
on  the  $100  was  levied  for  township  expenses.  The  Trustees  of  this  year  were 
John  Poyser,  William  Collett  and  Laban  Parks;  and  then  followed,  in  1845,. 
Thomas  Fisher,  W.  H.  Poyser,  John  Denny;  1846,  John  Poyser,  John  Denny,. 
William  Collett.  Thomas  Short  was  elected  Clerk  that  spring,  and  served  ten 
years.  From  1847  to  1850,  it  seems  that  William  Collett,  Peter  Prough  and 
Jacob  D.  Poyser  held  the  trusteeship  undisturbed.  In  1850,  Peter  Prough  was 
replaced  by  William  Swartz.  John  Poyser,  William  Swartz  and  John  McDevitt 
were  elected  in  1852.  At  the  November  election  of  this  year,  the  polls  were 
located,  by  ballot,  at  the  Denny  Schoolhouse.  For  1853-54,  the  Trustees  were 
John  D.  Stansbury,  John  Thompson  and  James  Taylor.  At  this  time,  the 
school  fund  received  from  the  Auditor  amounted  to  $356.70.  In  1854,  J.  D. 
Stansbury,  William  H.  Poyser  and  David  Sutton  were  Trustees;  1855,  J.  D. 
Stansbury,  Harlan  Parks,  Hiram  I.  Parks;  1856,  Harlan  and  H.  I.  Parks  and 
E.  B.  Gerber;  1857, -H.  I.  Parks,  John  Poyser,  James  Tumbleson;  1858,  H. 
I.  Parks,  William  Walker,  Nehemiah  Coldren.  Orvin  Kent  was  Clerk  this 
year.  This  was  the  last  triumvirate  in  the  trusteeship.  Since  then  one  man 
at  a  time  has  been  found  able  to  take  care  of  the  township  business.  D.  B. 
Carr  held  the  office  in  1859  and  the  succession  has  been:  James  Mearl,  S.  S. 
Keim,  1865;  John  L.  Short,  1866;  John  W.  Lutz,  1869;  Milton  Rowe,  1874, 
William  Roderick,  1878 ;  W.  L.  Sipe,  1880.  The  Justices  of  the  Peace  since 
1840,  when  the  records  begin,  have  been:  Leonard  Wolf,  1840-45;  Anthony 


190  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

Nelson,  1841;  John  Poyser,  1845-50,  1850-52,  1855-63,  1872-76.  (John 
Poyser  is  emphatically  the  Squire  of  Eden.)  William  T.  McConnell,  1845-47  ; 
James  Tumbleson,  1847-50,  1852-56,  1870-74;  Peter  Prough,  1866-705 
Jacob  Crusen,  1873-77;  John  J.  Arnold,  1876-80;  Isaiah  Immell,  1878-82; 
Samuel  Stutzman,  1881. 

In  the  year  1880,  at  the  time  of  taking  the  census,  and  according  to  the 
returns,  there  were  then  residents  of  the  township  the  following  persons  who 
had  reached  the  age  of  seventy-five  or  over :  J.  J.  Bontrager,  seventy-five ; 
Mary  Denny,  eighty-three;  Leah  Morrill,  seventy-five;  John  Thompson, 
seventy-seven. 

The  almost  impassable  swamps  running  through  the  township  from  north 
to  south  have  prevented  the  building  of  many  important  roads.  The  Indians 
even  left  the  swamps  severely  alone,  and  made  wide  detours  to  avoid  them. 
Their  trails,  which  were  the  first  highways,  ran  from  northeast  to  southwest 
through  the  Haw  Patch,  from  Clearspring  to  Ligonier.  These  trails,  of 
course,  were  only  passable  in  places  for  walking  or  riding,  and  they  were  so 
snugly  lined  by  sunflowers  and  stinging  nettles,  as  high  as  a  man's  head,  that 
travel  was  not  at  all  pleasant.  But  the  country  about  Haw  Patch  was  so  free 
from  underbrush  that  roads  were  easily  made.  The  first  one  was  the  Goshen 
road,  which  wound  without  regard  to  anything  but  convenience  and  the  shortest 
cut  from  Benton  and  Millersburg,  south  of  Big  Marsh  to  Salem,  and  up  by  the 
Latta  farm,  passing  north  of  the  present  Sycamore  Corners,  and  on  to  Clear- 
spring  and  La  Grange.  One  of  the  earliest  regularly  established  highways  was 
the  State  road,  laid  out  several  years  before  1840,  from  Perry  Prairie  to  White 
Pigeon. 

In  the  spring  of  1832,  Benjamin  Gale,  William  McConnell  and  Robert 
Latta  viewed  a  road  to  run  from  the  southwest  corner  of  the  county  to  Lima. 
This  was  afterward  known  as  the  Haw  Patch  road.  These  and  later  roads 
did  not  adhere  to  section  lines  at  first,  but  have  been  since  changed  for  that 
purpose. 

Life  in  Eden  before  1840  was  from  all  accounts  less  enjoyable  than  exist- 
ence in  the  earlier  Eden  about  the  year  one.  The  weeds  seemed  to  defy  the 
farmers ;  they  choked  the  grain  and  covered  everything.  It  is  said  that  horses 
and  cattle  were  often  lost  in  them.  As  if  the  weeds  were  not  enough,  the  birds 
"Were  innumerable,  and  they  flocked  to  the  little  wheat  patches,  making  music 
all  day  long  and  helping  themselves  for  reward.  Between  the  weeds  and  the 
birds,  "  what  shall  the  harvest  be,"  was  a  serious  question.  But  in  a  few  years 
the  condition  was  changed,  the  wheat  acreage  began  to  yield  twenty  bushels, 
and  the  corn  as  much  as  fifty  bushels,  and  the  crops  on  the  Haw  Patch  since 
then  have  been  wonderful.  There  was  no  mill  in  the  township  and  the  grist 
had  to  be  taken  to  Dallas'  Mill  in  Clearspring,  to  Steinberger's  in  Noble,  or 
to  Jonathan  Wayland's  and  other  mills  near  Benton,  in  Elkhart  County.  The 
journey  with  fifteen  or  twenty  bushels  of  wheat  to  Benton  from  the  Haw  Patch 


EDEN    TOWNSHIP.  191 

would  occupy  one  day,  and  the  next  day  would  be  taken  up  in  the  return.  The 
earliest  trading  was  done  in  Goshen  and  Lima,  except  such  as  was  done  at 
home  with  the  Indians,  who  were  always  anxious  to  exchange  something  for 
"shuma  " — silver  coin. 

The  first  birth  in  the  county  is  believed  to  be  Anna  Mary  Swartz,  who  was 
born  about  1837.  She  was  married  to  Jacob  Collett  and  now  lives  in  Iowa. 
A  child  was  born  to  William  Dempsey  very  early,  which  may  contest  the  claim  ; 
and  Sophronia,  daughter  of  Nehemiah  Coldren,  afterward  the  wife  of  William 
Walker,  of  Lima,  was  at  least  one  of  the  very  earliest  natives  of  Eden. 

In  September,  1836,  the  County  Commissioners  selected  the  house  of 
Obed  Gaines  as  a  voting  place,  and  tho  first  Presidential  election  in  the  town- 
ship was  held  there  in  November,  1836.  Norman  Sessions  was  Inspector.  There 
were  fifteen  to  twenty  votes  cast,  and  of  these  the  Democrats  had  a  large  ma- 
jority. The  township  has  usually  had  a  Democratic  majority  of  one  or  more 
ever  since  then,  though  during  the  life  of  the  Whig  party  it  sometimes  carried 
an  election. 

The  resident  physicians  who  have  practiced  in  the  township  have  been 
Dr.  John  Brown,  who  lived  near  "  Slabtown,"  and  died  in  1851.  Dr.  Waller, 
of  about  the  same  period ;  Dr.  Abner  Lewis,  who  lived  some  time  at  Sycamore 
Corners  and  then  moved  to  La  Grange,  and  finally  West,  and  for  the  last  twenty 
years.  Dr.  John  M.  Denny,  who  has  his  office  at  the  old  Denny  homestead  on 
Section  35.  The  township,  especially  about  the  Haw  Patch,  has  been  healthy 
since  the  fever  and  ague  days  of  the  first  settlement.  There  have  been  seasons 
which  were  exceptions,  however,  notably  the  epidemic  of  erysipelas  in  1850. 

A  widely-spread  gang  of  horse-thieves  and  general  outlaws,  in  an  early 
day,  made  the  Haw  Patch  an  unsafe  and  disagreeable  place.  To  these  maraud- 
ers the  Haw  Patch  was  indebted  for  a  reputation  as  a  lawless  locality,  which  it 
required  many  years  to  overcome.  Horses  would  be  taken  and  sent  out  of  the 
county  by  regular  lines,  along  which  the  thieves  and  their  harborers  were  per- 
manently stationed.  Finally,  the  reign  of  crime  became  unendurable.  The 
citizens  organized  themselves  in  police  associations  and  resolved  to  take  the 
law  into  their  own  hands.  The  Regulators  for  Haw  Patch  and  vicinity  organ- 
ized March  1,  1858,  at  the  residence  of  Francis  Ditman,  in  Clearspring,  with 
the  title  of  the  Clearspring  and  Eden  Detective  Police.  The  President  was 
Abner  Lewis,  and  the  Vice  Presidents,  Charles  Roy,  Francis  Ditman,  William 
Gibson  and  William  Denny.  John  McDevitt  was  chosen  Secretary  and  Haw- 
ley  Peck,  Treasurer.  Then  there  occurred  the  great  parade  at  Kendallville  by 
the  Regulator  companies,  when  an  immense  crowd  gathered,  and  one  of  the 
criminals  was  seized  and  soon  after  hung  near  Diamond  Lake,  in  Noble  County, 
and  his  body  taken  back-  to  his  wife.  The  criminal  class  was  awed  by  the 
determined  spirit  of  the  Regulators  ;  arrests  were  speedily  made,  and  in  a  very 
short  time  the  country  was  quiet.  Since  then,  the  feeling  of  peaceful  security 
has  been  disturbed  only  during  the  era  of  tramps. 


192  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

The  Latta  family  were  Methodists  and  the  McConnells  Presbyterians,  and 
this  determined  the  denominational  lines  of  the  early  efforts  toward  church 
organization.  The  first  society  to  be  organized  was  the  Methodist,  which  had 
its  meeting  place  at  the  residence  of  Robert  Latta,  Sr.  James  Latta,  who  had 
been  for  some  years  an  itinerant  preacher,  and  had  settled  in  Perry  Township, 
was  the  one  who  most  frequently  conducted  the  meetings.  Among  the  mem- 
bers of  this  pioneer  church  were,  besides  the  Lattas,  Samuel  and  John  Curl ; 
Laban  Parks,  wife  and  daughter  ;  Elizabeth  Ramsby  ;  John  Thompson  and  wife, 
and  James  Taylor.  Rev.  S.  R.  Ball  was  Pastor  in  1835,  and  Revs.  Robert- 
son, Boyd,  Harrison,  Posey  and  Allen,  Dowd,  Storex  and  Forbes,  followed  in 
very  nearly  the  order  given.  In  1842,  the  society,  aided  by  general  contribu- 
tions, built  a  frame  meeting-house  on  Latta's  land,  called  Eden  Chapel.  A 
graveyard  was  opened  west  of  the  old  chapel  about  this  time,  on  an  acre 
donated  by  Robert  Latta.  The  first  buried  here  was  a  child  of  Judge  Stage. 
The  grant  of  land  was  afterward  enlarged  to  two  and  one-fourth  acres.  The 
old  church  was,  after  many  years'  service,  torn  down  and  a  neat  frame  chapel, 
capable  of  seating  about  300  persons,  was  erected  on  the  west  side  of  the 
churchyard,  and  dedicated  in  1866.  The  building  cost  about  $1,500  and  was 
built  by  James  Tumbleson.  The  churchyard  is  surrounded  by  a  handsome 
wire  fence,  and  the  house  and  its  surroundings  kept  in  a  manner  which  is  in 
itself  an  index  to  the  wealth  and  refinement  of  the  neighborhood.  A  camp- 
meeting  was  also  held  for  many  years  at  a  grove  on  Mr.  Latta's  land,  and  largely 
at  his  expense.  He  was  generous  in  support  of  religious  enterprises.  The 
church  is  at  present  included  in  the  Wawaka  Circuit  and  Rev.  James  Johnson 
is  the  preacher  in  charge.     There  are  some  fifty  members  enrolled. 

The  Presbyterian  Church  was  organized  at  the  house  of  William  McCon- 
nell,  of  which  his  family  and  Denny's,  and  the  Cavens,  of  Perry  Township, 
were  the  earliest  members.  Rev.  James  B.  Plumstead  was  the  first  minister, 
some  time  before  1835.  Rev.  Christopher  Cory  also  preached  at  this  place  in 
1837  and  1838.  The  society  was  not  long-lived,  and  the  members  were  grad- 
ually drawn  into  the  congregations  of  Salem  Church  and  Ligonier, 

The  Baptist  Church  had  a  society,  formerly  meeting  first  at  Sycamore 
Schoolhouse  and  then  at  Horner's.  But  since  the  death  of  Harvey  Coldren. 
its  most  prominent  member,  the  society  has  had  very  few  meetings. 

A  Methodist  Episcopal  society  was  organized  west  of  the  Marsh  in  the 
winter  of  1842-43,  and  met  at  John  Poyser's  house.  The  early  members  were 
John  Poyser,  Thomas  Elliott,  Andrew  Elliott,  John  McKibben  and  Isaac 
Sparks  and  their  families,  and  Susan  and  William  H.  Poyser.  The  member- 
ship was  from  Elkhart  and  La  Grange  Counties.  The  congregation  also  met 
at  the  Eden  Valley  Schoolhouse,  until  their  chapel  was  built  in  1856.  This 
building  was  erected  by  James  Hart,  and  was,  in  dimensions,  about  32x45. 
Rev.  Lamb,  of  Goshen,  was  one  of  the  earliest  preachers,  and  it  was  included 
in  the  Goshen  Circuit.     During  the  war,  when  feeling  was  very  intense  and 


EDEN    TOWNSHIP.  193 

persons  were  divided  in  opinion  about  where  preachers  should  draw  the  dividing 
line  between  politics  and  patriotism,  a  split  was  made  in  the  church,  and  a  con- 
siderable number,  including  some  of  the  Virginian  settlers,  organized  a 
Lutheran  Church.  This  new  society  built  a  brick  church  just  over  the  line  in 
Clinton  Township  in  1877.  The  old  meeting-house  is  still  in  use  by  the 
Methodists. 

The  Amish  Mennonite  Church  was  organized  in  1854  by  German-speak- 
ing residents  in  the  township.  Before  1842,  the  settlement  by  members  of  this 
denomination  had  been  begun  by  David  Kurz,  John  Hartzler,  Isaac  Hartzler 
and  (jrideon  Yoder.  Later  comers  were  Isaac  Smoker,  in  1843,  and  David 
Hartzler,  in  1845.  About  1860,  a  frame  church  was  erected  south  of  the  vil- 
lage, on  the  county  line  road,  and  here  Bishop  Isaac  Smoker  and  Revs.  Joseph 
Yoder  and  Joseph  Kaufman  were  the  earliest  preachers.  In  1870,  this  build- 
ing was  torn  down  and  moved  to  Sycamore  Corners,  and  a  handsome  brick 
church  was  erected,  with  a  seating  capacity  of  300,  at  a  cost  of  $2,000.  The 
church  was  dedicated  by  Rev.  John  F.  Funk,  of  Elkhart.  The  district  now 
includes  all  of  the  Haw  Patch,  and  contains  something  over  one  hundred  and 
thirty  members.  The  present  preachers  in  charge  are  Bishop  Smoker,  who 
has  now  served  in  this  church  forty-two  years,  and  Revs.  Jonas  Hartzler  and 
George  Buller.*  The  Amish  people  are  in  greater  numbers  in  the  northern 
sections  of  Eden,  owning,  in  fact,  all  the  upper  half  of  Eden,  east  of  the  West 
Fork  of  the  Little  Elkhart.  In  this  part,  the  first  Amish  settlers  were  John 
Bontrager,  Christian  Miller,  Sr.,  and  Joseph  Yoder,  about  1844.  Most  of  this 
territory  is  included  in  the  Newbury  District.  The  other  leading  German 
denomination,  the  German  Baptists  or  Dunkers,  is  represented  by  a  flourishing 
society,  organized  in  1866,  with  a  present  membership  of  about  one  hundred 
and  fifty.  The  society  erected  a  commodious  frame  meeting-house  at  Haw 
Patch  Village,  in  1870.     Rev.  David  Bare  is  the  minister  at  this  time. 

The  first  school  taught  in  the  township  was  in  the  winter  of  1834,  when 
Kensell  Kent  organized  a  school  in  a  log  cabin  a  half  mile  west  of  Denny's 
Corners,  at  which  the  few  children  in  the  neighborhood  found  instruction.  The 
big  boys  in  those  days  were  as  unruly  as  in  modern  times,  and  a  disturbance 
at  one  time  arose  in  this  school  which  compelled  the  attendance  of  a  number  of 
them  at  the  court  in  Lima  for  several  days.  The  first  schoolhouse  was  a  log 
building  at  Denny's  Corners,  where  school  was  taught  by  Robinson  Ramsby 
in  1836.  Old  Mr.  Lucky,  about  1837,  also  taught  in  this  schoolhouse.  It 
was  a  primitive  aff'air ;  one  end  of  the  building  was  the  fire-place ;  there  was  noth- 
ing in  the  way  of  chimney  but  a  hole  in  the  roof,  and  the  rest  of  the  building,  it 
seems,  was  the  hearth.  Pins  were  put  in  the  logs  of  the  wall,  and  slabs  laid 
on  these  were  the  desks.  The  seats  were  made  from  slabs,  and  were,  of  course, 
without  backs.  Achsah  Kent,  now  Mrs.  Nathan  Frink,  was  one  of  the  earliest 
teachers  here.  After  the  log  house,  there  was  a  frame  built  upon  the  same 
spot,  which  has  been  gone  some  twenty  years,  and  the  location  of  the  house  to 


194  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

take  its  place  was  on  the  east  line  of  Section  26.  A  house  was  early  built  on 
the  east  line  of  Section  26,  where  school  was  kept  for  fifteen  years.  The  site 
was  then  changed,  and  a  brick  house  was  built  at  the  corners  south  in  1877, 
called  the  Haw  Patch  Schoolhouse.  The  Horner  Schoolhouse,  on  Section  13, 
was  built  several  years  before  the  war,  a  rough  frame,  and  was  rebuilt  about 
1870. 

About  1840,  the  first  schoolhouse  was  built  over  the  marsh.  It  was  a  log 
house  in  Elkhart  County,  near  the  chapel.  Here  Thomas  Short  was  one  of  the 
earliest  teachers.  In  1845,  the  Eden  Valley  Schoolhouse  was  built  within  the 
township  on  John  Aker's  land.  A  new  house  has  since  been  erected.  In  the 
old  house,  Margaret  Bean  was  one  of  the  first  teachers.  Noble  County  has 
built  two  schoolhouses  within  the  limits  of  Eden,  attended  mostly  by  children 
of  this  township.  The  Sycamore  School  District,  with  the  house  in  Clearspring, 
but  including  a  portion  of  Eden,  was  organized  in  1842,  when  Mahlon  Hutch- 
inson was  one  of  the  trustees.  The  district  receives  its  name  from  a  tall  syca- 
more of  the  Haw  Patch,  which  used  to  stand  at  the  corner  until  it  was  mis- 
chievously girdled. 

From  the  latest  school  statistics  it  appears  that  the  township  has  288 
children  of  school  age,  190  of  whom  are  in  attendance  each  day  upon  the 
schools.  The  length  of  school  is  142  days  on  an  average.  Nine  teachers  are 
employed  at  $1.55  and  $1.39  per  day.  The  revenue  for  the  past  year  was 
$4,823.67,  and  the  value  of  the  school  property  is  put  at  $5,890. 

An  important  movement  in  the  direction  of  popular  culture  is  the  Syca- 
more Literary  Society,  This  was  started  about  seventeen  years  ago  as  a  debat- 
ing society  at  the  schoolhouse.  But  in  1878,  a  wider  field  of  usefulness  was 
chosen,  and  a  more  permanent  organization  effected  and  a  charter  obtained. 
Ira  Ford  and  J.  N.  Babcock  conceived  the  idea  of  the  society's  obtaining  a 
hall  for  its  exclusive  use,  and  the  other  members  went  into  the  project  enthusi- 
astically. The  old  Dunkard  Church,  then  for  sale,  was  bought,  torn  down, 
moved  and  rebuilt,  in  1879,  upon  land  at  the  "  corners,"  donated  by  Orvin 
Kent.  The  building  as  refitted  is  30x52  feet,  and  aff"ords  a  good  auditory  for 
350  persons,  and  contains  a  stage  and  scenery.  To  do  this  work,  the  society 
borrowed  $500  and  was  aided  by  donations.  The  debt  is  being  paid  from  the 
proceeds  of  entertainments.  The  society  at  present  has  over  forty  members. 
J.  N.  Babcock  is  President  and  E.  E.  Stutsman,  Secretary. 

There  are  but  few  industries  in  the  township  besides  farming  and  stock- 
raising.  But  two  permanent  saw-mills  and  one  grist-mill  are  in  operation. 
The  first  saw-mill  and  grist-mill  were  built  near  the  center  of  the  township  in 
1854,  by  Benedict  Miller.  The  flouring-mill  had  two  run  of  stones  and  did  a 
fair  custom  work,  but  both  mills  were  long  ago  burned  down. 

In  1877,  John  and  Amos  Schrock  built  a  grist-mill  with  two  run  of  stones, 
and  a  large  saw-mill  on  Section  9,  at  which  a  great  deal  of  custom  work  has 
been  done.     The  mills  were  sold  in  1881  to  Tobias  Eash.     The  only  business 


EDEN    TOAVNSHIP.  195 

place  in  the  township  is  Haw  Patch  Center  or  Haw  Patch  or  "  Slabtown,"  as 
it  has  been  variously  called.  The  most  popular  name  for  some  time  has 
been  Slabtown,  which  the  saw-mill  has  the  credit  of  giving  the  origin  to. 
This  point  was  early  selected  as  a  site  for  trading.  William  McConnell, 
the  first  Postmaster,  kept  a  small  stock  of  goods  near  by  at  an  early  day. 
Timothy  Hudson,  Jr.,  kept  a  store  on  the  Clearspring  side  of  the  street 
quite  early,  and  also  ran  an  ashery.  The  saw-mill,  which  is  the  most  important 
part  of  Slabtown,  was  built  by  William  and  Timothy  Hudson  in  1856,  and 
moved  and  rebuilt  in  1874,  by  John  Keim,  who  still  runs  it.  About  1871, 
Jacob  Crusen  built  a  store  in  Slabtown,  which  was  destroyed  by  fire  two 
years  later.  John  Keim  then  rebuilt  upon  the  lot  in  1877,  and  in  this  build- 
ing a  general  store  was  kept  by  Samuel  Holland  for  a  short  time,  and,  since  he 
retired,  by  Mr.  Keim. 

In  1878,  a  building  was  erected  by  Thomas  Trittapoo,  in  which  another 
store  has  since  been  kept.  John  Peck,  in  1877,  made  a  substantial  addition 
to  the  place  by  starting  a  well-equipped  wagon  and  blacksmith  shop.  A  large 
harness  shop  and  fine  brick  residence  were  erected,  in  1881,  by  J.  Zook,  on  the 
Clearspring  side,  at  the  place  of  the  old  Hudson  store.  These  business  places 
and  the  Dunkard  Church  are  the  only  public  buildings  in  the  village.  "  Slab- 
town  "  has  never  had  the  distinction  of  being  platted,  but  that  is  among  the 
bright  prospects  of  the  future.  The  neighborhood  expected  speedy  prosperity 
and  a  great  impetus  to  the  growth  of  the  country  when  the  Canada  Southern 
Railroad  extension  was  surveyed  through  herein  1872.  There  was  talk  of 
railroad  shops  being  located  here.  Thomas  H.  Gale,  of  Michigan,  purchased 
over  a  section  of  improved  land  at  high  figures,  as  a  speculation,  and  the  road 
seemed  certain  to  come,  but  the  panic  of  1873  came  instead,  and  there  is  now 
little  hope  of  a  railroad  through  the  Haw  Patch. 

During  the  dry  season  of  1871,  at  the  time  of  the  Chicago  fire,  there  was 
considerable  danger  to  buildings  near  the  marsh,  and  great  loss  in  the  way  of 
fences  and  timber.  About  nine-tenths  of  the  timber  in  the  township  was  in- 
jured by  the  fires  which  swept  over  the  swamp.  Alftiost  the  entire  marshes 
were  burned  over,  and  nothing  but  deep  ditches,  aided  by  persistent  fighting  of 
the  fire,  could  check  its  course.  That  season  of  fire  by  night  and  clouds  of 
smoke  by  day  will  long  be  remembered.  But  those  few  years,  when  the  marshes 
needed  some  water,  were  exceptions.  The  great  problem  has  been,  generally, 
how  to  get  rid  of  the  surplus  of  water  collected  in  these  vast  bogs.  The  first 
effort  at  drainage  was  the  State  ditch  in  the  Big  Marsh.  Johnston  Latta,  at 
about  the  same  time,  a  little  before  1850,  commenced  the  first  private  ditching, 
in  the  face  of  considerable  discouragement  from  the  neighbors,  in  the  eastern 
branch  of  the  swamp.  The  viewers  and  surveyors  on  these  early  ditches  had 
a  hard  time  of  it  in  the  trackless  and  bottomless  bogs,  and  among  the  poison 
sumach.  Since  then,  considerable  attention  has  been  paid  to  the  drainage  of 
the  marshes,  under  the  various  laws  of  the  State  ;  and  it  has  perhaps  resulted 


19t)  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

in  as  much  litigation  as  drainage.  In  fact,  however,  a  great  deal  of  land  has 
been  reclaimed.  A  larger  ditch  than  has  ever  yet  been  dug  is  being  surveyed 
on  the  line  of  the  old  State  ditch,  and  is  to  be  made  by  assessments. 

The  Eden  of  to-day  is  happy  and  prosperous.  Part  of  the  land  is  yet 
uninviting,  but  it  is  nowhere  so  bad  as  in  the  "  JSTew  Eden  "  Dickens  settled 
Mark  Tapley  upon ;  a  great  portion  of  it  is  a  beautiful  garden,  if  not  a  para- 
dise ;  at  least,  as  near  one  as  any  spot  in  Hoosierdom.  As  for  the  people,  they 
are  intelligent,  enterprising  and  cultured,  and  with  a  decided  penchant  for 
large  farms  and  comfortable  or  even  elegant  homes,  where  a  generous  hospitality 
is  always  found. 


CHAPTER    XI. 

BY  WESTON  A.  GOODSPEED. 


Spkingfield  Township— Mongoquinoxg  Fifty  Years  Ago— The  French  Trad- 
ers—More OF  THE  Gage  and  Langdon  War— Saw-Mills,  Woolen- Mills, 
distilljeries,  etc.— incidents  of  the  "hard  cider  campaign "—wild 
Game— Township  Organization— Village  of  Springfield— Schools  and 
Churches— Spiritualism— Union  Hall. 

THE  first  white  settler  in  what  is  now  Springfield  Township  was  probably 
John  B.  Clark,  who,  according  to  his  sister,  Mrs.  Judge  Prentiss, 
located  on  the  west  bank  of  Turkey  Creek,  near  the  center  of  the  township, 
some  time  during  the  autumn  of  1830.  He  was,  of  course,  a  squatter,  as  were 
also  all  others  before  the  fall  of  1832,  and,  so  far  as  known,  was  the  only  one 
before  the  spring  of  1831.  At  that  time,  a  man  named  L.  K.  Brownell,  an 
enterprising  settler,  located  a  claim  at  what  is  now  Mongoquinong.  He  had 
considerable  money  at  command,  which  was  immediately  invested  in  the  con- 
struction of  a  dam  across  Pigeon  River.  At  the  same  time,  he  began  the  erec- 
tion of  a  two-storied  grist-mill,  completing  both  it  and  the  dam  during  the 
summer  of  1831 ;  so  that,  in  August  of  the  same  year,  a  fair  article  of  flour 
was  furnished  by  the  mill.  Two  sets  of  buhrs  were  employed,  one  for  wheat 
and  the  other  for  corn.  Mr.  Brownell  was  not  a  practical  miller,  but  employed 
a  man,  whose  name  is  not  remembered,  to  manage  the  running  of  the  mill.  The 
vicinity  of  the  mill,  in  years  before,  had  been  the  site  of  a  temporary  encamp- 
ment of  Pottawatomies,  and,  for  a  number  of  years  afterward  they  continued 
to  assemble  there  at  certain  seasons.  As  every  one  knows,  they  were  extremely 
fond  of  whisky,  and  would  resort  to  any  means  to  get  it.  An  Indian  (unless 
pretty  well  civilized)  does  not  sell  his  furs ;  he  barters  them  for  something  he 
wants.  He  goes  in  for  bulk,  much  as  the  Irishman  did  with  the  boots.  The 
result  was  that  they  were  easily  cheated  by  unscrupulous  traders,  who  obtained 
their  peltries  for  a  comparative  pittance.  French  traders  from  Fort  Wayne 
established  themselves  at  Mongo,  two  of  them  being  (as  well  as  the  writer  can 


SPRINGFIELD    TOWNSHIP.  197 

spell  their  names),  Druryeaur  and  Cuttieaur.  The  latter  was  in  business  in 
Fort  Wayne,  in  the  partnership  of  Comparet  &  Cuttieaur,  while  the  former,  so 
far  as  known,  was  not  connected  with  them,  unless  in  the  purchase  of  fancy 
articles  for  the  Indian  trade,  and  in  the  disposal  of  the  furs  thus  obtained. 
Druryeaur  was  at  Mongo  as  soon  as  Brownell,  and  there  he  remained  until  late 
in  the  autumn  of  1832,  when  so  much  hostility  was  shown  him  by  every  one,  on 
account  of  his  responsibility  for  the  "  Gage  and  Langdon  war,"  that  he  found 
it  unprofitable  to  remain  longer,  whereupon  he  removed  his  trading  station, 
some  say,  to  an  Indian  village  in  Michigan.  Brownell,  at  the  time  he  built 
his  grist-mill,  saw  at  once  the  profit  to  be  realized  from  the  sale  of  whisky  to 
the  Indians  and  the  settlers ;  and  he,  therefore,  erected  a  large  distillery  build- 
ing near  his  mill,  and  employed  a  practical  distiller  to  conduct  the  manufact- 
ure. His  expectations  were  more  than  realized,  as  the  most  of  his  whisky 
(from  thirty  to  forty  gallons  per  day)  was  purchased  and  consumed  almost  as 
fast  as  it  was  made.  The  distillery  and  the  mill  together  furnished  a  market 
for  grain  that  the  settlers  appreciated.  They  could  take  their  corn  to  the  mill, 
get  it  ground,  and  then  take  it  to  the  distillery,  where  it  was  either  exchanged 
for  so  much  whisky,  or  was  brewed  on  shares.  Druryeaur  had  a  small  trading- 
house  across  the  river  from  the  mill,  where  his  furs  were  kept,  and  where  he 
dealt  out  whisky  to  his  red  friends.  As  soon  as  the  mill  and  the  distillery 
were  up  and  running,  many  persons  searching  homes  were  attracted  to  the 
spot.  The  place  was  certainly  promising  at  that  time,  for  there  was  the 
large  encampment  of  Indians  across  the  river  from  the  mill ;  there  was  the 
grist-mill  furnishing  flour  and  meal  for  a  large  section  of  country  ;  there  was 
the  abundance  of  large  and  excellent  fish  in  the  broad  mill-pond  ;  there  were 
the  wild  game  and  the  furs  of  all  kinds  brought  in  by  the  Indians  and  the 
white  trappers  and  hunters,  and  there  was  the  market  for  grain.  The  mill  and 
the  distillery  were  no  sooner  up  than  a  man  named  John  O'Ferrell,  a  native  of 
the  "  Emerald  Isle,"  came  to  the  place  and  erected  a  small  storeroom,  in 
which  was  placed  a  stock  of  goods  worth  about  $400.  The  stock  consisted 
mainly  of  those  miscellaneous  articles  most  needed  in  the  backwoods.  Some  say 
that  Brownell  owned  part  of  the  stock,  and  it  is  very  likely  he  did,  as  he  would 
scarcely  let  the  golden  opportunity  of  deriving  so  excellent  a  profit  pass  easily 
into  other  hands.  The  facts,  however,  as  to  the  ownership  of  the  store  are  not 
clear.  O'Ferrell  was  certainly  the  first  store-keeper,  and,  while  he  was  there, 
kept  the  post  office  for  a  short  time.  Arthur  Burrows  opened  a  hotel  in  1833, 
paying  $7.50  per  annum  license.  At  the  same  time,  O'Ferrell  was  licensed  to 
sell  merchandise,  paying  therefor  $10  per  annum,  and  at  the  same  rate  for  the 
time  he  had  been  selling  before  without  a  license.  There  was  a  blacksmith  at 
the  village,  but  his  name  is  not  remembered.     This  was  the  Mongo  of  1833. 

The  originators  or  perpetrators  of  the  Indian  scare,  known  as  the  "  Gage 
and  Langdon  war,"  were  the  Frenchman  Druryeaur,  the  Irishman  O'Ferrell, 
the  Yankee  Brownell,  the  German  miller,  and  a  few  native  Americans.     Such 


198  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

a  unity  of  nationality  could  not  fail  to  produce  a  sensation.  All  persons  at  the 
time  were  talking  about  the  Black  Hawk  war,  and  speculating  as  to  the  probabil- 
ity of  trouble  with  the  Pottawatomies.  Those  easily  frightened  saw  dreadful 
times  ahead,  and  were  ready  for  the  scare.  The  details  are  told  in  the  chapter 
on  Greenfield.  Langdon  fled  to  Brushy  Prairie,  and  told  the  few  settlers  there 
of  the  massacre  at  the  mill.  Men  for  miles  around  armed  themselves  and  re- 
paired in  haste  to  the  spot,  to  assist  in  quelling  the  outbreak.  Over  one  hun- 
dred assembled,  though,  for  some  reason  unknown,  no  organization  was  effected. 
About  seventy-five  Indians  were  encamped  near  by.  They  thought  the  whites 
were  going  to  attack  them,  and  hung  out  the  white  flag.  In  truth,  the  settlers 
could  hardly  be  restrained  from  firing  upon  them.  It  was  not  long  before  the 
truth  became  known,  and  then  the  perpetrators  of  the  hoax  were  treated  to  an 
exhibition  of  wrath  and  indignation.  So  hostile  were  the  settlers  to  the  jokers 
that  trade  at  the  mill,  the  distillery  and  the  store  languished.  Under  this 
pressure,  the  Frenchman  left  the  place ;  and  very  likely  the  early  disappear- 
ance of  O'Ferrell,  and  the  sale  of  the  property  of  Brownell  were  hastened,  if 
not  caused,  by  their  perpetration  of  the  joke.  Do  not  say  the  story  is  magni- 
fied. When  100  men  assemble,  armed  and  prepared  for  fight ;  when  attempts 
are  made  to  build  forts  and  garrison  islands  in  lakes,  that  section  of  country  is 
in  earnest  and  means  business.     Such  are  the  facts,  at  least. 

Among  the  earliest  settlers  in  the  township  were  William  S.  Prentiss,  Ben- 
jamin Jones,  Jesse  Huntsman,  Joseph  Foos,'  Benjamin  Foos,  William  Seaburn, 
Erastus  Haskins,  George  Thompson,  Elijah  Fothergill,  Drusus  Nichols,  Otis 
Shepardson,  George  Ray  (Peckham),  William  BuUmer,  Samuel  Bradford,  Nor- 
man Dyer,  Jacob  and  Isaac  Gage,  David  Michael,  Barnabas  Thompson  and 
others.  At  the  same  time,  and  prior  to  1839,  there  came  Leonard  Appleman, 
Russell  Brown,  Almon  Brine,  Isaac  Carpenter,  Moses  Chapin,  Conrad  Deal, 
W.  B.  Dunn,  George  Donaldson,  Edwin  Davis,  Robert  Dayton,  AVilliam  East- 
lick,  the  Emersons,  Rufus  Freeman,  Robert  and  G.  W.  Greenfield,  Elias  Gil- 
bert, Job  Gifibrd,  Jacob  Greene,  J.  T.  Hobbs,  John  and  William  Hall,  Luke 
Hammond,  Charles  Hull,  Sylvan  us  Hatch,  Orsemus  Jackway,  Jehu  Lackey, 
W.  S.  Newnam,  D.  I.  and  N.  B.  Newnam,  T.  H.  Nichols,  Harvey  and  Elisha 
Olmstead,  Richard  Rice,  David  Sockrider,  Edward  Smith,  George  Smith,  Hi- 
ram Smith,  E.  G.  Shepardson,  James  Shears,  Elisha  Talmage,  B.  B.  Water- 
house,  the  Wades,  Sheldon  Williams,  Job  and  James  Wilcox,  A.  T.  Wallace, 
Samuel  H.  Wright,  Samuel  Westcott,  Ephraim  Seeley,  Jacob  Vandeventer  and 
others.  The  greatest  rush  into  the  township  was  during  the  years  1836  and 
1837.  The  terrible  sickly  season  of  1838  swept  away  many  of  the  settlers, 
and,  on  account  of  the  drought,  the  crops  of  that  year  were  poor.  This  state  of 
things,  following  in  the  wake  of  thefinancial  crash  of  1837,  carried  hard  times 
to  the  verge  of  desperation.  Counterfeiters,  thieves  and  others  of  their  ilk 
overran  the  country,  and  soon  honest  settlers  could  not  depend  upon  the  integ- 
rity of  their  neighbors. 


0^ 


EDEN  TR 


"X&^-jAz 


SPRINGFIELD    TOWNSHIP.  *  201 

In  1832,  George  Bullmer  erected  a  saw-mill  on  Pigeon  River,  in  the 
eastern  part  of  the  township.  A  dam  was  built  across  the  river  after  a  great 
deal  of  trouble,  and  a  short  race  or  chute  carried  water  to  the  flutter- wheel,  which 
communicated  motion  to  the  saw.  The  mill  was  a  good  one,  turning  out  a 
considerable  quantity  of  lumber.  In  1833,  Samuel  Bradford  erected  a  saw- 
mill on  Turkey  Creek,  about  a  mile  from  its  mouth.  The  race  was  about  half 
a  mile  long,  and  the  owner  himself  expressed  doubt,  while  it  was  being  dug, 
whether  it  would  carry  the  necessary  water  to  the  mill.  George  Thompson 
worked  on  the  race,  and,  according  to  his  account,  the  mill  did  not  begin  to 
run  until  the  spring  of  1834.  The  mill,  greatly  altered  in  appearance  and 
capacity,  is  yet  in  operation.  In  1838,  William  S.  Prentiss  erected  one  on  the 
same  creek,  on  Section  34 ;  this  is  yet  in  operation.  A  saw-mill  was  early 
built  at  Mongo ;  it  is  yet  running.  These  were  the  only  early  mills.  In  the 
fall  of  1834  or  spring  of  1835,  Samuel  Bradford  erected  an  addition  to  his 
saw-mill,  and  placed  therein  the  necessary  machinery  for  carding  wool.  In 
November,  1836,  he  sold  both  mills  and  the  eighty  acres  of  land  upon  which 
they  stand  to  Joshua  T.  Hobbs ;  Mr.  Crane  was  employed  to  conduct  the  card- 
ing-mill ;  wool  was  taken  there  by  the  settlers  to  be  carded,  after  which  it  was 
taken  home,  spun,  woven  into  cloth,  and  returned  to  the  mill  to  be  dressed  and 
colored.  No  cloth  was  probably  manufactured,  several  old  settlers  to  the  con- 
trary. After  many  years,  the  property  passed  into  the  control  of  John  and 
James  Tinkler,  who,  for  a  short  time,  infused  new  life  into  the  enterprise,  and 
probably  talked  of  purchasing  weaving  machinery  and  employing  a  weaver ; 
they  did  not,  however,  but  within  about  two  years  left  the  place  with  many 
debts  behind,  going  to  some  point  in  Michigan.  While  the  mill  was  under  the 
ownership  of  Hobbs,  large  quantities  of  wool  were  carded,  the  value  of  the 
enterprise  being  fully  appreciated  by  the  settlers  over  a  large  scope  of  country. 
The  carding-mill  died  with  the  disappearance  of  the  Tinkler  boys. 

In  about  the  year  1836,  or  earlier,  the  mill  property  at  Mongoquinong 
was  purchased  by  Drusus  Nichols,  as  were  also  the  O'Ferrell  store  and  the  dis- 
tillery. A  man  named  Skeels  was  employed  to  conduct  the  mill.  In  1837, 
George  Smith  became  the  distiller.  Nichols  himself  managed  affairs  at  the 
store.  He  increased  the  stock  until  it  was  worth  about  $6,000,  and  at  times  had 
a  very  large  trade.  As  high  as  fifty  gallons  of  whisky  were  manufactured  in 
one  day.  The  distillery  ran  very  successfully  until  about  1842,  when  it  was 
destroyed  by  fire,  and  was  not  rebuilt.  The  old  grist-mill  was  used  under  a 
change  of  owners  until  1869,  when  the  present  structure  was  erected  by  C.  L. 
Hawk,  who  is  yet  the  owner.  Nichols  died  about  1848,  and  the  property 
passed  to  Robert  Dykes,  and  afterward  to  others.  Staley  and  Payne  were 
coopers,  who  were  in  the  village  very  early ;  they  manufactured  whisky  kegs 
and  barrels,  and  found  a  sale  for  all  they  could  make,  if  not  there,  at  other 
distilleries,  of  which  there  were  several  in  surrounding  townships.  In  1835, 
there  were  some  seven  or  eight  families  living  in  the  village.     William  Hall 


202  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

was  an  early  hotel  keeper,  as  were  also  Albert  Powell  and  a  man  named  Davis. 
John  Brisco  and  the  Sheldons  were  other  tavern  keepers.  The  Sheldon 
brothers  were  physicians,  and  were  among  the  earliest  of  that  profession  in  the 
township.  Erastus  Haskins  was  an  early  blacksmith ;  John  D.  Filkins  was 
another.  While  Judge  Seeley  was  at  Lima,  a  post  office  called  Mongoquinong* 
was  established  there,  and  he  received  the  appointment  as  Postmaster.  About  this 
time  he  removed  to  Greenfield  Township,  taking  the  office,  which  retained  the 
same  name,  with  him.  Finally,  in  about  1833  or  1834,  he  moved  to  Spring- 
field Township,  and  the  office  was  removed  to  Union  Mills,  as  it  was  then 
called,  and  O'Ferrell,  or  as  some  say  Nichols,  received  the  appointment  as 
Postmaster  ;  the  office  still  retaining  its  first  name.  Drusus  Nichols  was  Post- 
master for  many  years.  Mason  Brown  was  an  early  mail  carrier  on  the  Fort 
Wayne  &  Lima  road ;  Bourie  of  Fort  Wayne  was  another ;  William  Legg, 
another.  During  the  years  1844,  1845  and  1846,  Drusus  Nichols  shipped  over 
1,000  barrels  of  flour  annually  to  Fort  Wayne  and  other  points,  as  to  Adrian, 
Mich.  At  the  same  time,  large  quantities  were  consumed  at  home.  Nichols 
built  the  first  saw-mill  at  the  village  about  the  time  he  bought  out  Brownell  and 
O'Ferrell.  Robert  Dykes,  the  successor  of  Nichols,  carried  on  a  very  exten- 
sive business.  Edmund  G.  Shepardson  has  been  in  business  in  the  village  for 
the  past  seventeen  years.  Mr.  Hawk  has  been  in  business  there  for  a  long 
time. 

During  the  Presidential  campaign  of  1840,  several  prominent  candidates 
for  Congress  were  announced  to  speak  in  Mongoquinong.  Eight  hundred  men 
gathered  to  hear  them.  Bands  of  martial  music  came  in  four-horse  wagons, 
with  drums  beating  and  colors  flying.  Great  enthusiasm  was  manifested  for 
"  Tippecanoe  and  Tyler  too."  A  gayly  decorated  wagon  from  Angola  appeared, 
the  wagon-box  being  a  large  canoe,  in  which  a  fine  martial  band  was  seated. 
It  was  a  great  Whig  day,  though  many  Democrats  were  present  to  see  the 
show  and  hear  the  speakers.  Games  were  projected,  and  the  sturdy  politicians 
enjoyed  themselves.  It  is  said  that  Satauel  Burnside,  at  hop,  step  and  jump, 
on  this  day,  cleared  forty -six  feet.  Losey  Young  and  John  Davidson  did  about 
as  well.  Otis  Shepardson,  Sr.,  felt  unwell  while  in  Nichols'  store,  whereupon 
the  latter  bathed  his  head  with  whisky.  This  started  the  idea  that  every  Dem- 
ocrat present  should  be  baptized  with  whisky  into  the  Whig  faith.  It  is  im- 
possible to  describe  the  scene  that  ensued.  Whigs  with  mugs  of  whisky  in 
their  hands  were  seen  in  all  directions  chasing  down  Democrats,  running 
through  houses  and  gardens,  jumping  fences,  clearing  ditches  in  their  precipi- 
tous efibrts  at  political  regeneration.      Many  were  baptized  on  that  well-remem- 

*  The  meaning  of  the  Indian  word  "Mongoquinong"  is  uncertain.  The  most  trustworthy  reports  say  that  it 
was  applied  by  the  Indians  to  the  prairie  east  of  Lima,  the  open  country  being  known  by  that  name  among  the  Pot- 
tawattomiee  when  the  county  was  first  settled  by  the  whites,  or  even  years  before,  when  the  Indian  traders  were  the 
only  white  persons.  Various  meanings  have  been  given  the  term — that  it  signifies  " Big  Squaw,"  or  'Big  Chief"  or 
"  Big  White  Sqnaw,"  or  as  meaning  both  man  and  woman.  Those  who  hold  the  last  view  say,  that  Shi-tno-hah-mong 
means  white  man,  mong  meaning  man;  albo,  that  Shi-mo-kah-nong  means  white  woman,  nong  meaning  woman.  These 
two  terms  placed  together  and  united  by  the  proper  connective  would  give  mong  (oqui)  nong  meaning  man  and  woman 
This  etymological  analysis  of  the  word,  though  plausible,  cannot  be  maintained  on  good  authority.  The  burden  of 
evidence  is  that  the  term  means  "  Big  Squaw." 


SPRINGFIELD    TOWNSHIP.  203 

bered  day.  Drusus  Nichols  employed  a  surveyor,  and,  in  March,  1840,  had 
laid  out  about  one  hundred  and  eighty  lots  on  Sections  5  and  8.  This  was  the 
first  plat  of  Mongoquinong.  That  long  name  has  been  lately  shortened  to 
Mongo.  The  population  of  the  village  has  probably  at  no  time  exceeded  one- 
hundred  and  fifty. 

In  early  years,  the  streams  of  Springfield  afforded  an  excellent  place  to 
fish  and  hunt.  Hunters  with  flaming  torches  would  float  down  the  streams  in 
canoes,  and  the  deer  which  had  come  to  drink  would  stand  and  stare  at  the 
light  until  shot.  E.  G.  Shepardson  and  a  companion  were  thus  engaged  one 
night,  when  they  approached  a  deer  so  closely  that  they  could  have  reached 
out  their  hands  and  touched  it.  Shepardson  shot  it  through  the  heart.  The 
report  of  the  rifle  rang  in  the  ears  of  his  companion  for  many  years  afterward. 
The  deer  fell  partly  across  the  boat.  An  old  Indian  near  there  was  thus  en- 
gaged one  dark  night,  when  he  shot  a  deer  that  pluuged  into  his  canoe,  upset- 
ting it,  and  spilling  the  red  man  and  his  accouterments  into  the  river.  The 
old  fellow  reached  shore  in  safety.  Many  years  ago,  the  workmen  who  were 
excavating  under  a  barn  in  the  township  unearthed  two  human  skeletons,  proba- 
bly those  of  Indians.  Some  say  the  skeletons  belonged  to  persons  who  were 
murdered  by  a  man  named  Hubbard,  who  had  lived  there  very  early,  and  who 
afterward  was  convicted  of  murder  in  Allen  County,  and  punished.  Springfield 
has  within  its  border  a  Government  signal  station. 

After  the  organization  of  the  county,  and  prior  to  May,  1834,  Springfield 
Township  remained  attached  to  Greenfield  ;  but,  at  the  latter  date,  the  County 
Commissioners — in  response  to  a  petition  presented  them  by  John  B.  Clark, 
Jesse  Huntsman,  Joseph  and  Benjamin  Foos,  AVilliam  Seaburn,  Benjamin  Jones, 
William  S.  Prentiss,  and  possibly  a  few  others,  who  had  sometime  before  met  at 
a  cabin  built  and  abandoned  by  Samuel  Gauthrop.  and  had  drawn  up  the  peti- 
tion in  which  it  was  asked  that  a  new  township  be  created,  and  that  it  be  named 
Springfield — ordered  the  creation  of  such  township,  and  directed  that  the  first 
election  be  held  at  the  residence  of  Benjamin  Jones,  on  the  first  Monday  in 
August,  1834.  Mr.  Prentiss  was  appointed  Inspector  of  the  election.  Who 
were  elected  to  the  different  township  offices  is  not  remembered.  George  Thomp- 
son was  appointed  by  the  Commissioners  in  September,  1834,  to  serve  as  Con- 
stable. In  May,  1835,  they  appointed  Benjamin  Jones  and  Jesse  Huntsman 
to  officiate  as  Overseers  of  the  Poor ;  and  David  Michael  and  Edward  Smith  as 
Fence  Viewers.  At  this  time,  the  township  was  divided  into  two  road  districts, 
the  division  line  being  Turkey  Creek.  Joseph  Foos  was  appointed  Supervisor 
for  the  district  west  of  the  creek,  and  Leonard  Appleman  for  that  on  the  east 
side.  Jane  Clark,  daughter  of  John  B.  Clark,  was  the  first  white  child  born 
in  the  township,  June  4,  1831.  In  1832,  Ephraim  Seeley,  Esq.,  married  Will- 
iam S.  Prentiss  and  Jane  Mary  Clark.  Some  highly  interesting  works  of  the 
Mound-Builders  are  found  in  the  western  part  of  the  township — fortifications, 
mounds,  war  implements,  etc. 


204  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

The  village  of  Springfield  was  laid  out  by  Leonard  Appleman  in  1842,  133 
lots  being  surveyed  and  offered  for  sale.  About  the  same  time,  be  built  a  store- 
room and  placed  on  its  shelves  several  thousand  dollars'  worth  of  a  general  as- 
sortment of  goods.  At  this  time,  he  also  built  a  warehouse  and  began  buying 
a  considerable  quantity  of  grain,  and  began  packing  pork.  He  had  at  his  com- 
mand a  goodly  sum  of  money,  and  for  many  years  he  dealt  in  these  articles,  hir- 
ing teamsters  to  convey  his  purchases  to  market  at  the  most  favorable  seasons. 
By  shrewd  management,  experience  and  a  judicious  expenditure  of  capital,  he 
realized  handsome  profits.  Mr,  Appleman's  besetting  sin  was  his  ungovernable 
appetite  for  strong  drink.  After  his  death,  which  occurred  just  before  the  last 
war,  his  son,  John  Appleman,  took  charge  of  the  father's  business.  Frank 
Hamilton  was  in  the  Appleman  building  with  goods  for  a  few  years  during  the 
lifetime  of  Leonard  Appleman.  Zekiel  Brown  and  David  Paulus,  partners, 
sold  goods  in  the  village  about  the  commencement  of  the  last  war.  George  Por- 
ter sold  goods  some  nine  years  ago.  Frederick  Neutz  and  Hugh  A.  Porter  were 
in  with  groceries  for  a  short  time.  Then  came  William  Strayer.  Dr.  House 
located  there  at  an  early  day.  He  was  succeeded  by  Dr.  Grifiith.  Dr.  Alpharis 
M.  Spaulding,  a  physician  of  the  old  school,  established  himself  there  some 
twenty-six  years  ago,  where  he  has  since  remained  enjoying  a  lucrative  practice 
and  the  confidence  of  his  patrons.  The  whisky  traffic  became  so  strong  in  the 
village  for  a  series  of  years  before  the  war,  and  so  many  young  men  through  its 
jnfluence  were  drawn  into  dissipation,  and  even  crime,  that  the  sober  citizens  at 
last  determined  that  it  must  stop.  In  1857,  Dr.  Spaulding,  William  S.  Pren- 
tiss, Minot  Goodsell,  T.  C.  Dille  and  others,  ten  or  twelve  in  all,  under  proper 
authority,  organized  themselves  into  a  lodge  of  Good  Templars.  This  lodge 
grew  rapidly  in  power  and  influence,  and  soon  its  members  numbered  over 
one  hundred.  Excellent  work  in  the  right  direction  was  done,  young  and  old 
men  were  reclaimed  to  lives  of  sobriety,  and  the  sale  for  ten  months  was  wholly 
stopped.  But  the  excitement  of  war  time  came  on,  and,  in  about  1861,  the 
lodge  surrendered  its  charter.  Afterward,  when  a  keg  of  whisky  was  brought 
to  the  village,  three  of  the  most  prominent  citizens  employed  a  young  man  for 
$3  to  bore  an  auger  hole  in  the  bottom,  from  which  all  the  liquor  escaped  and 
was  lost.  The  old  "  Mayflower  Lodge  of  Good  Templars  "  will  be  remembered 
with  pleasure  for  many  long  years  in  the  future.  A  Masonic  Lodge  was  organ- 
ized in  Springfield  about  six  years  ago,  with  twelve  or  fifteen  charter  members. 
They  were  so  scattered  that,  after  a  short  time,  the  charter  was  surrendered. 
The  membership  did  not  exceed  twenty-five.  It  was  called  "  Prentiss  Lodge, 
No.  505."  George  Bassett  and  Conrad  Deal  were  early  tavern-keepers.  T. 
C.  Dille  was  a  cabinet-maker,  an  undertaker,  and  a  carpenter.  His  work 
may  be  seen  in  all  directions.  The  population  of  the  village  has  probably  at  no 
time  exceeded  seventy-five.  In  1880,  the  following  persons  had  passed  the  age 
of  seventy-five  :  Susan  Arnold,  seventy-six  ;  Eunice  Fuller,  eighty-six  ;  Harriet 
Gilbert,  seventy-five ;    Lydia  Hugh,  eighty-one ;  Christopher  Hawk,  ninety  ; 


<J/aj  J^^'^  ^/Ai^     q/^^ 


EDEN  TP. 


SPRINGFIELD    TOWNSHIP.  207 

Lena  Hawk,  seventy-five  ;  Willis  Haskins,  eighty- two  ;  Daniel  Hart,  seventy- 
seven  ;  Sarah  Notestine,  seventy-five  ;  Davi'd  L.  Poppino,  eighty-two  ;  Henry 
Talmage,  seventy-six  ;  Maria  Tole,  eighty-four ;  Samuel  Westcott,  eighty-four. 
The  first  schoolhouse  in  the  township  was  built  on  Section  20,  near  the 
cemetery,  as  early  as  1836,  or  perhaps  1835,  and  Otis  Shepardson,  Jr.,  was  era- 
ployed  to  teach  the  first  term  of  school.  It  is  thought  this  term  was  taught  dur- 
ing the  winter  of  1835-36.  A  Mr.  Melindy  was  an  early  teacher  in  this  house. 
He  was  a  Vermonter,  and  an  eccentric  character.  After  this  building  had  been 
used  but  a  few  years,  another  was  erected  about  a  half  a  mile  south,  on  Thomp  - 
son's  Corners.  This  was  a  frame  structure,  and  was  used  many  years.  Finally 
the  district  Avas  divided  a  few  years  before  the  last  war,  and  two  houses  were 
built,  one  near  the  Chapman  farm,  and  the  other  south  on  the  Sears  Corners 
The  latter  was  destroyed  by  fire  but  was  soon  rebuilt.  New  houses  have  lately 
taken  the  place  of  both.  In  about  the  year  of  1810,  a  log  cabin  that  had 
been  built  just  north  of  Appleman  Lake,  for  a  dwelling,  but  abandoned,  was 
fitted  up  for  a  schoolhouse,  and  Miss  Harriet  Twitchell,  from  near  Orland,  was 
hired  to  teach,  receiving  about  $1.50  per  week,  and  boarding  around.  Some 
ten  years  later,  a  frame  schoolhouse  was  built  near  the  same  spot,  and,  in 
this  building,  Russell  Brown  was  the  first  teacher.  This  house  was  used  until 
the  present  one  was  built  some  eight  or  ten  years  ago.  A  log  schoolhouse  was 
standing  at  the  Talmage  Corners  at  a  very  early  day.  The  name  of  the  first 
teacher  is  not  remembered.  It  is  said  that  this  house  was  either  built  as  a 
combined  church  (Baptist)  and  schoolhouse,  or  else  it  was  converted  to  religious 
uses  afterward,  as  various  denominations  (Baptist,  Methodist,  etc.)  had  small 
classes  there  at  a  very  early  day.  A  schoolhouse  was  built  quite  early  in  the 
Sanderson  neighborhood.  .New  houses  have  succeeded  the  old.  The  Schultz 
Schoolhouse  was  erected  about  seven  years  ago,  when  the  district  in  the  forks 
was  created.  For  a  number  of  years  prior  to  1855,  the  few  families  in  Spring- 
field village  had  no  church,  and  were  compelled  to  send  their  children  some  dis- 
tance to  one  of  the  country  schools.  Finally  it  was  resolved  to  build  a  com- 
bined church  and  schoolhouse.  The  Township  Trustees  agreed  to  give  $300 
toward  the  erection  of  such  a  house,  providing  it  was  used  at  proper  times  as  a 
schoolhouse.  To  this  the  villagers  agreed,  they  giving  $400  that  the  building 
might,  when  not  occupied  by  the  school,  be  used  for  a  church  of  any  Christian 
denomination.  The  building  is  provided  with  a  steeple,  a  curious  appendage 
for  a  schoolhouse,  but  an  imposing  one  for  a  church.  This  house  was  built  dur- 
ing the  summer  of  1855,  but  prior  to  that  several  terms  of  select  school  had 
been  taught  in  the  village.  In  about  1838,  a  log  school  building  was  erected 
on  the  line  between  Sections  27  and  28,  just  north  of  William  Dunbar's.  Miss 
Ellen  Wheeler  taught  the  first  term  here.  She  boarded  around.  This  house 
was  used  for  school  purposes  about  four  years,  and  was  then  superseded  by  the 
school  of  the  Phalanx.  The  schoolroom  at  the  last-named  place  was  in  the 
second  story  over  the  dining-room.     There  were  some  forty  families  cojinected 


208  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

with  the  association  (for  sketch  of  which  see  county  chapter),  with  an  enumer- 
ation of  over  sixty  scholars.  School  was  taught  there  the  year  round,  save 
short  vacations  between  the  terms.  At  the  time,  this  was  perhaps  the  best 
school  in  the  county,  or  at  least  one  of  the  best.  Judge  Prentiss,  a  noble  man, 
and  a  graduate  of  Harvard  College,  taught  several  terms.  An  assistant  teacher 
was  employed.  Mr.  Parker  was  one  of  the  teachers.  None  but  capable  men 
were  given  charge  of  the  school,  as  several  of  the  higher  branches  were  taught, 
and  a  thorough  system  of  discipline  was  required.  At  the  dissolution  of  the  as- 
sociation the  school  ended,  and  then  the  few  children  in  the  district  were  sent 
to  other  schools  until  about  thirteen  years  ago,  when  the  present  house,  a  frame, 
was  built.  Miss  Ellen  Foos  was  the  first  teacher  in  this  house.  Miss  Ella 
Ewing  is  the  present  teacher,  receiving  $30  per  month.  In  about  1839,  a 
frame  schoolhouse  was  built  about  a  half  a  mile  northwest  of  M8ngo.  It 
was  a  good  house  and  was  used  there  until  about  1845,  when  it  was  moved  to 
Mongo,  and  used  until  eight  or  nine  years  ago,  when  the  present  two-story 
frame  structure  was  erected,  at  a  cost  of  about  $1,800.  Two  teachers  are  em- 
ployed at  present.  The  enumeration  is  about  eighty  scholars.  The  house  was 
paid  for  partly  by  subscription  and  partly  from  the  township  funds.  A  school- 
house  was  built  in  District  No.  1  about  thirty-eight  years  ago,  by  E,  G.  Shep- 
ardson.     He  also  built  one  farther  west  about  ten  years  later. 

The  M.  E.  Church  society  at  Talmage  Corners  started  up  in  1838  with  a 
membership  of  fourteen  under  the  ministration  of  Rev.  G.  M.  Boyd.  Among 
the  early  members  were  Jehu  Lackey  and  wife,  Mrs,  Nichols,  W.  S.  Newnam, 
Susan  Newnam,  William  Seaburn  and  wife,  Conrad  Deal  and  wife,  William 
Herbert  and  wife,  N.  B.  Newnam  and  wife,  Frank  Hamilton  and  wife,  and 
others.  The  Talmages  have  been  prominent  and  excellent  citizens  since  a  very 
early  day.  They  have  been  closely  identified  with  religious  work.  This  Meth- 
odist society  has  had  its  years  of  depression,  and  its  periods  of  financial  embar- 
rassment; yet  there  is  not  another  in  the  county  that  has  clung  to  its  constant 
exercises  so  well.  The  members  are  justly  proud  of  their  church,  which  was 
built  many  years  ago.  The  Brushy  Prairie  M.  E.  Society  was  organized  in 
1836  by  Rev.  T.  B.  Conley.  Eleven  persons  joined  at  the  time  of  organiza- 
tion. The  church  was  built  in  1842,  largely  at  the  expense  of  B.  B.  Water- 
house,  the  Greenfields,  Mr.  Carpenter,  the  Austins  and  others.  Rev.  Conley 
was  a  faithful,  consistent,  true-hearted  Christian.  His  temporal  welfare  had  at 
one  time  been  somewhat  neglected,  as  the  members  of  the  church  gave  donation 
parties  to  other  servants.  He  said  nothing.  One  evening,  a  few  of  the  more 
thoughtful  ones,  accompanied  by  a  retinue  of  outsiders,  surprised  him  with  a 
large  quantity  of  valuables.  The  kind-hearted  old  man  was  so  touched  by  the 
act,  that,  in  his  reply  to  the  presentation  speech,  ho  completely  broke  down  with 
sobs  and  blessings.  His  God  had  not  forsaken  him.  The  writer  was  unable  to 
get  at  the  facts  regarding  the  Baptist  society  of  early  years  at  Talmage  Cor- 
ners.    A  United  Brethren  society  was  organized  at  Mongo  in  1879.     Rev.  T. 


SPRINGFIELD    TOWNSHIP.  209 

A.  Childs,  of  Lima,  was  instrumental  in  effecting  the  organization.  The  first 
members  were  Dr.  A.  W.  Jones  and  wife,  George  W.  Hall  and  wife,  Benjamin 
Tanner  and  wife,  James  Downs  and  wife  and  Abraham  Shafer.  Samuel  Mc- 
Kenzie  was  the  class  leader.  The  society  has  increased  but  little  in  num- 
bers. A  neat  frame  church  was  built  in  1880  at  a  cost  of  about  $1,500,  one- 
half  being  given  by  outsiders.  There  is  a  debt  on  the  church  at  present  of 
about  $500 ;  but  this  will  soon  be  paid  off,  suitable  provision  having  been  made 
with  that  result  in  view.  Sunday  school  has  been  conducted  for  some  two 
years,  Dr.  C.  M.  Whitzel  being  the  first  superintendent.  T.  A.  Childs  was  the 
first  pastor.  Rev.  Melvin  Bell  at  present  preaches  every  two  weeks  for  the  so- 
ciety, and  is  paid  $50  per  year  for  such  service.  The  lot  upon  which  the 
church  stands  cost  $100,  and  was  included  in  the  figures  above.  There  are 
many  Free  Thinkers  in  Mongo,  and,  indeed,  throughout  Springfield  Township. 
They  are  outspoken,  argumentative,  thoughtful,  uncertain,  peculiar  and  icon- 
oclastic. Some  thirty-four  years  ago,  the  Spiritualists  hold  "  seances  "  or  "cir- 
cles," in  various  portions  of  the  township,  and  large  crowds  gathered  to  hear 
them.  Mediums  of  great  repute  were  secured  from  abroad,  to  visit  the  town- 
ship for  the  purpose  of  giving  public  exhibition  of  the  fact  that  the  spirits  of 
departed  friends  could  be  conversed  with.  The  result  was  that  scores  were  con- 
verted to  the  new  faith  ;  and  the  other  religious  societies  languished  under  the 
influence  of  the  new.  At  last,  great  opposition  was  manifested  by  the  ortho- 
dox, who  often  denied  them  the  use  of  schoolhouses  or  other  buildings  in  which 
to  assemble.  In  June,  1858,  at  a  public  meeting  of  the  following  men — W.  S. 
Prentiss,  Jesse  Huntsman,  Benjamin  Jones,  Harvey  Olmstead,  Ed.  Dyer,. 
George  Thompson  and  others — it  was  resolved  to  build  a  free  hall,  and  names 
and  subscribed  amounts  were  appended  to  the  following  instrument : 

We,  the  subscribers,  a  voluntary  association,  for  religious,  scientific  and  benevolent  pur- 
poses, hereby  agree  to  pay  the  sums  affixed  to  our  names  to  aid  in  building  a  hall,  which  shall 
be  open  for  lectures,  discourses  and  discussions  on  various  subjects,  with  no  favor  to  any  one 
sect  or  class  of  persons,  and  which  shall  never  be  closed  to  any  one  who  may,  within  the  bound* 
of  good  behavior,  wish  to  advocate,  explain  or  discuss  his  or  her  opinions  on  the  above-name(J 
subjects  ;  and,  for  the  purpose  of  proceeding  legally,  we  hereby  avail  ourselves  of  the  act  of  the 
Legislature  of  Indiana,  approved  June  17,  1852,  entitled :  "An  act  to  enable  trustees  to  receive 
lands  and  donations  of  money,  the  same  for  the  use  of  schools,  churches,  religious  societies,  etc.> 
and  for  constructing  houses  of  worship  and  other  buildings  named." 

The  building  was  immediately  erected  at  a  cost  of  about  $800,  and  was 
named  "  Union  Hall."  It  has  been  used  for  the  purpose  stated  since  its  erec- 
tion, but  the  orthodox  denominations  avoid  using  it.  Free  Sunday  schools 
have  been  held  there.  An  excellent  lyceum  is  conducted  there  almost  every 
winter,  and  exhibitions  are  given  to  secure  sufficient  funds  to  keep  the  building 
in  repair. 


CHAPTER    XIL 

by  r.  h.  reeick. 

Clearspring  To'svnship— Introductory— Topography— Early  Appearance 
OF  THE  Country— The  Coming  of  the  Pioneer- The  Settler's  Home- 
Rollings  AND  Raisings— Industrial  Development— Incidents  and  Sta- 
tistics—The Teacher  and  the  Preacher. 

IN  the  beginning  of  this  century,  the  beautiful  country  now  covered  with 
fertile  farms  and  meadows  and  woodland,  which  is  called  Clearspring,  was  a 
terra  incognita  to  the  white  man.  The  Indians  alone  roamed  through  its 
unbroken  forests,  hunting  the  game  and  refreshing  themselves  at  the  springs 
that  made  this  locality  so  attractive.  The  country  presented  no  peculiar 
advantages  to  the  farmer,  as  a  whole,  though  in  the  southwest  there  lay  the 
eastern  part  of  that  broad  and  extremely  fertile  opening,  called  the  Haw 
Patch.  The  remainder  of  the  thirty-six  miles  was  a  rolling  country,  covered  by 
forests  of  beech,  oak  and  maple,  which  were  to  be  felled  before  the  fertile  soil 
would  yield  its  riches  to  the  patient  pioneer.  Clearspring  and  Eden  were  at 
first  one  township,  and  their  fitness  for  such  a  union  was  shown  by  the  first  set- 
tlement. The  best  lands  in  each  township  lie  near  the  line  separating  them, 
and  this  fact  invited  settlement  about  the  Haw  Patch,  while  the  swamps  to  the 
east  and  the  west  kept  those  sections  backward  in  their  development.  The 
first  settler  in  Clearspring  was  not  bound  down  by  sectional  lines.  He  rose 
above  township  limitations.  His  log-house,  at  least,  was  raised  precisely  upon 
the  town  line,  and  he  could  bid  defiance,  as  it  was  jocosely  remarked  after  the 
division  of  the  towns,  to  the  constabulary  of  either.  Anthony  Nelson,  this 
first  settler,  came  into  Indiana  from  Ohio  in  1829,  and  located  first  in  Elkhart 
Oounty,  and  then  came  to  this  township  and  entered  two  eighty-acre  lots  in 
1831,  which  he  occupied  the  next  year,  and  has  ever  since  lived  upon.  Mr. 
Nelson  is  now  eighty-five  years  of  age.  One  of  the  next  comers  was  Dr.  David 
Rogers,  who  was  in  the  township  in  1833,  from  Wayne  County,  N.  Y.,  and 
entered  1,280  acres  of  land  in  this  township  and  Eden,  as  a  speculator.  He 
spent  much  time  in  the  township,  however,  and  for  the  last  fifteen  or  eighteen 
years  of  his  life  resided  here  almost  continually,  collecting  herbs  and  roots  for 
medicine,  and  attending  to  a  considerable  practice  as  a  physician.  He  also 
made  a  business  of  selling  extracts,  essences,  etc.,  in  the  East,  and  traveled  a 
great  deal  for  that  purpose.  He  collected  his  simples  in  all  parts  of  the  East, 
as  well  as  here.  He  was  a  man  of  many  eccentricities,  and  a  real  "  naturalist." 
He  would  often  spend  the  summer  in  a  cave  or  in  a  slight  shed,  preferring  to 
have  nothing  more  artificial  between  him  and  the  canopy  of  heaven.  His 
house,  a  sort  of  adobe  contrivance,  was  on  his  land  in  Section  22,  but  he  lived 
much  of  the  time  Avith  his  neighbor,  Erastus  Nelson.     Dr.  Rogers  died  in  1871, 


CLEARSPRING    TOWNSHIP.  211 

and  was  buried  on  a  little  hill  near  his  home,  overlooking  the  Haw  Patch  road, 
where  there  is  a  fine  shaft  of  marble  bearing  the  inscription :  "  Dr.  David 
Rogers,  born  June  2,  1786,  died  February  24,  1874,  aged  eighty-five  years 
eight  months  and  twenty-two  days.  He  was  the  friend  of  the  invalid,  and  gave 
medicine  without  money  and  without  price." 

He  left  a  will  dated  March  7,  1868,  by  which  he  bequeathed  the  remain- 
der of  his  lands  lying  in  this  county,  consisting  of  eighty  acres  in  Clearspring 
and  one  hundred  and  sixty  in  Eden  "  to  the  Commissioners  of  the  county  of 
La  Grange  and  their  successors  in  ofiice  forever,  in  trust  forever,  for  the  use 
and  benefit  of  the  orphan  poor,  and  for  other  destitute  persons  of  said  county." 

Norman  Sessions  settled  on  Section  27  in  1834.  He  was  married  to  Min- 
erva Gaines,  of  Eden,  by  Justice  William  McConnell,  February  8,  1835. 
This  was  the  first  marriage  in  the  township.  His  first  child  was,  it  is  thought, 
the  first  born  in  the  township  and  also  the  first  one  to  die.  It  was  buried  in  a 
lot  then  donated  (1837),  by  Elisha  Pixley,  for  a  burying-ground,  Mr,  Sessions 
himself  died  at  the  age  of  thirty -two,  in  March,  1841. 

In  1834,  John  Sprout  settled  at  first  with  Anthony  Nelson  upon  the  line, 
but  afterward  moved  upon  Section  19,  where  he  died  in  1878.  Nathan  Bishop 
of  North  Carolina,  sometimes  called  the  first  settler,  came  April  12,  1834, 
with  his  young  son  Robert,  and  nephew,  Robert  H.,  and  entered  upon  land  in  Sec- 
tion 22.  Nathan  Bishop,  a  Free- Will  Baptist,  was  the  first  preacher  in  the 
township.  He  held  service  at  his  home  for  many  years,  and  organized  a  soci- 
ety which  met  there,  but  gradually  died  out.  In  addition  to  this  work,  Mr. 
Bishop  preached  at  various  places  throughout  the  town.  He  died  March  3^ 
1850.  His  eldest  son  Robert,  who  was  born  in  1799,  still  lives  on  the  old 
farm.  In  the  early  days  he  was  the  only  blacksmith  in  the  town,  and,  with  his 
father,  built  and  worked  the  first  tannery  in  that  vicinity.  James  Gordon,  a 
son-in-law  of  Nathan  Bishop,  came  with  him  and  had  the  honor  of  sowing  the 
first  wheat  in  Clearspring,  on  Section  28,  and  of  being  the  first  mason.  Amos 
Newhouse,  with  his  son  John,  settled  on  Section  32,  in  the  spring  of  1835,  and 
began  clearing  the  large  farm,  which  he  occupied  until  his  death  in  1875.  He 
was  a  native  of  Virginia,  and  is  remembered  as  a  quiet  and  industrious  man. 
A  half  mile  from  Mr.  Newhouse's  estate  lies  the  farm  upon  the  county  line, 
which  John  S.  Gibson,  after  living  at  the  Haw  Patch  a  short  time,  occupied  in 
the  same  year,  and  at  this  date  still  lives  to  enjoy. 

Elijah  Pixley  was  another  settler  of  1835,  from  Union  County,  Ind.,  and 
began  here  his  farming  life  upon  Section  28,  where  he  lived  until  his  death  in 
1874.  Upon  his  land  were  located  the  first  schoolhouse,  the  first  burying- 
ground  and  the  first  church  in  the  township.  His  sons  Edward  and  James 
Pixley  have  since  been  residents  of  Clearspring.  The  year  1836  was  the  time 
of  increased  immigration,  and  many  of  the  best  citizens  coming  that  year  were 
able,  at  the  time  of  the  Centennial  celebration  of  the  nation,  to  commemorate  the 
fortieth  anniversary  of  their  settlement.     Among  these  was  Charles  Roy,  who 


212  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

came  with  his  family  upon  his  land  in  Section  22,  near  the  center  of  the  town- 
ship, on  the  20th  of  June.  Mr.  Roy  has  always  been  an  energetic  man,  and  has 
made  valuable  improvements.  He  was  the  first  to  raise  fruit  to  any  great 
extent,  and  early  had  a  nursery  of  700  trees,  and  an  orchard  of  ten  acres. 
He  was  also  one  of  the  first  to  raise  mint  and  distill  the  oil,  and  came  to  do  an 
extensive  business  in  this  line.  Simeon  Crosby  came  from  New  York  and  set- 
tled in  the  west  half  of  Section  34,  but  died  in  1839,  three  years  after  his 
arrival.  A  daughter,  Sarah  Crosby,  was  one  of  the  first  married  in  the  town- 
ship, then  a  part  of  Eden,  being  married  to  John  Hubbard,  September  12, 
1836,  by  Rev.  James  Latta. 

Nicholas  Lowe  and  wife  came  from  Maryland  and  settled  on  Section  29, 
where  he  came  to  possess  300  acres  of  land  upon  which  he  and  his  son,  Rev. 
Thomas  H.  Lowe,  now  reside.  Ernestus  Schermerhorn,  of  Syracuse,  N.  Y., 
was  in  the  township  at  this  time,  and  bought  land  in  the  northeast,  but  did  not 
settle  until  1839.  He  died  forty  years  later,  February  8,  1876.  Willard 
Hervey  came  in  this  year,  at  first  to  the  home  of  Simeon  Crosby,  whose  daugh- 
ter he  married  in  1839.  This  lady,  when  Miss  Sebrina  Crosby,  had  taught 
school  in  Amasa  Durand's  house,  north  of  La  Grange.  It  is  told  of  her,  as 
an  instance  of  what  the  pioneer  girls  had  to  endure,  that  at  one  time,  when 
living  at  home,  and  her  father  dangerously  ill  and  without  any  remedy  or  doc- 
tor near,  she  walked  through  the  forests  the  whole  distance  to  Lima,  about 
fifteen  miles,  to  bring  Dr.  Jewett,  the  nearest  physician.  Most  of  the  journey, 
an  Indian  trail  was  the  only  road,  and  at  one  point  she  had  to  cross  Buck 
Creek,  which  was  swollen  with  floods,  and  only  partially  bridged  with  logs. 
But  she  pulled  off  her  shoes,  and  jumping  from  log  to  log,  made  the  passage 
safely  and  brought  the  doctor  to  her  father.  In  1836,  October  3,  William 
Dallas,  of  Ohio,  settled  in  Section  26,  on  the  present  land  of  Norton  Kinnison. 
He  had  with  him  his  sister  aud  fourteen  motherless  children,  of  whom,  Samuel, 
Lorenzo,  George,  Joseph  and  Levi  are  now  well-to-do  citizens  of  the  township. 
His  home  was  near  the  Elkhart  River,  near  where  it  emerges  from  a  group  of 
lakes,  of  which  the  most  eastern  lie  partly  in  the  township.  These  four  bod- 
ies of  water,  the  largest  of  which  is  called  Dallas  Lake,  are  the  only  ones  in 
Clearspring,  and  occupy  but  about  three  hundred  acres.  Mr.  Dallas  at  once 
began  to  utilize  the  water-power  of  the  river,  and  in  1837  built  a  grist-mill 
near  his  home.  This  was  a  considerable  undertaking  for  a  man  in  his  circum- 
stances, and  in  such  a  remote  place.  But  his  perseverance  carried  it  through, 
and  it  was  soon  completed  and  ready  to  grind  the  grists  of  the  few  farmers  for 
miles  around.  Before  this  time  the  wheat  had  been  carried  to  Goshen,  Ontario 
or  Van  Buren.  "  Uncle  Billy's  corn-cracker,"  as  it  was  called,  was  of  a  very 
primitive  and  simple  construction.  The  building,  built  of  whitewood  logs, 
was  so  low  that  the  man  who  put  the  grain  in  the  hopper  had  to  make  a 
humble  passage  beneath  the  rafters.  There  were  no  castings  about  the  mill ; 
all  was  wood  except  the  mill-stones,  and  of  these  there  were  but  one  pair,  and 


CLEARSPRING    TOWNSHIP.  213 

the  millstone  shaft,  a  flat  bar  of  iron.  A  bolt  only  was  necessary  and  that 
was  soon  supplied,  but  there  were  no  cog-wheels  or  belting,  and  consequently 
this  had  to  be  revolved  at  first  by  hand,  a  process  which  required  a  good  deal 
of  muscle.  Sometimes  the  patrons  of  the  mill  were  called  on  to  assist  in  this 
operation.  The  mill  had  a  capacity  for  grinding  about  fifty  bushels  in  twenty- 
four  hours,  but  never  was  called  on  for  such  an  extraordinary  business.  To 
this  mill  men  came  with  their  grain  from  the  whole  neighborhood  (and  neigh- 
borhoods were  large  in  those  days)  in  ox  carts,  on  horseback,  afoot  or  in  canoes. 
It  was  an  accommodating  institution,  run  by  one  of  the  most  accommodating 
men  that  ever  blessed  a  new  community  with  his  presence. 

Three  or  four  years  later,  Mr.  Dallas  built  a  saw-mill  near  by,  which,  after 
his  death,  was  run  by  Van  Kirk  until  the  dam  broke,  about  1851.  "  Uncle 
Billy"  Dallas,  as  he  was  familiarly  called,  died  many  years  ago  (in  1847),  but 
his  many  virtues  still  live  in  the  memory  of  the  old  settlers. 

Others,  who  came  in  1836,  are  James  Haviland,  who  built  the  first  barn ; 
Henderson  Potts,  the  first  disciple  of  Crispin ;  N.  P.  Osborn  and  David  Ray. 

We  have  named  those  who  were  here  by  1836,  and,  by  common  consent, 
are  called  the  "old  settlers" — at  least  the  earliest  settlers.  Among  them, 
however,  should  be  included  Hawley  Peck,  born  in  Connecticut  in  1810,  who 
bought  eighty  acres  in  Clearspring  in  1836,  but  did  not  come  until  1838,  when 
he  concluded  to  settle  here,  and  bought  160  acres  more,  and  in  1844  commenced 
improvements  upon  it.  He  has  done  much  for  the  advancement  of  the  town- 
ship, and  his  large  family  of  sons  and  daughters  (now  grown  to  manhood  and 
womanhood)  are  among  the  best  people  of  the  county.  Charles  S.  Sperling, 
now  eighty-nine  years  of  age,  the  oldest  man  in  the  township,  settled,  in  1843, 
upon  Section  4. 

After  1836,  the  immigration  proceeded  rapidly,  and  the  many  settlers 
since  then  we  cannot  name  except  as  they  were  connected  with  the  events  of 
the  general  history  of  the  township. 

As  the  tide  of  population  came  in,  the  price  of  land  rose,  and  the  low  price 
of  $1.25  that  the  Government  asked  was  increased  to  $3  or  $4  in  1836  and  to 
$8  or  $10  two  years  later.  With  this  change,  the  price  of  products  decreased; 
but  in  the  earliest  years  the  contrast  with  the  present  was  not  very  marked. 
Wheat  then  was  worth  $1  per  bushel ;  corn,  50  cents ;  oats,  37  cents ;  butter, 
37 J  cents;  soft  soap,  37  cents  per  gallon;  hogs,  $10  to  $14;  cows,  $30. 

The  Indians  were  removed  before  1840  and  the  white  men  left  in  undis- 
turbed possession.  The  Pottawatomies  were,  however,  not  in  any  way  trouble- 
some to  the  pioneers.  There  were  a  great  many  of  them  in  the  township,  es- 
pecially in  the  south,  where  they  had  a  camping-ground  on  a  high  ridge,  now 
known  as  the  "Hogback."  They  were  agriculturists  in  a  small  way,  and 
raised  corn  on  low  ground  near  the  ridge.  But  they  were  very  conservative  in 
their  farming.  One  year  a  party  of  them  planted  corn  on  the  farm  of  Anthony 
Nelson  and  were  very  much  opposed  to  his  plowing  and  harrowing  the  ground; 


214  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

but,  when  he  came  to  mark  out  the  patch  in  rows,  their  disgust  was  unbounded. 
The  chief  Kookoosh,  however,  was  wise  enough  to  respect  the  pale  face's  little 
eccentricities  in  farming  and  kept  his  men  at  work,  and  they  succeeded  in  rais- 
ing a  very  good  crop.  Another  old  chief  was  one  of  those  few  red  men  who 
justify  the  poet's  account  of  "  Lo,  the  poor  Indian  ! "  He  seemed  to  see  "  God 
in  the  clouds  and  hear  him  in  the  wind,"  and  at  every  meal,  before  he  would 
partake  of  any  food,  he  would  invoke  the  blessing  of  the  Great  Spirit.  The 
Indians  were  always  ready  for  a  trade  with  the  pioneers,  and  would  exchange 
venison,  cranberries,  moccasins  and  trinkets  for  vegetables  and  whatever  the 
white  men  had  to  spare.  A  famous  spring  on  the  farm  of  Charles  Roy,  known 
as  Clearspring,  whence  the  township  derived  its  name,  was  a  great  resort  for 
the  Indians,  and  there  were  many  other  springs,  such  as  Indian  Spring,  south 
of  the  first  named,  which  their  trails  passed. 

In  March,  1837,  the  Commissioners  set  off  from  Eden  Township  the  terri- 
tory now  known  as  Clearspring,  and  ordered  an  election  at  Elijah  Pixley's,  on 
the  first  Monday  of  April.  In  accordance  with  this,  some  fifteen  or  twenty 
voters  met  at  the  appointed  place,  and  proceeded  to  vote  for  township  officers. 
The  records  cannot  be  found,  and,  consequently,  a  full  list  is  impossible,  but  it 
is  believed  that  the  first  Trustees  were  Ernestus  Schermerhorn,  Willard  Hervey 
and  Elijah  Pixley,  and  the  first  Justices,  William  F.  Beavers  and  Norman  Ses- 
sions. N.  P.  Osborn  was  chosen  Clerk,  and  received  ^3  for  his  year's  service. 
The  Trustees  were  paid  |2.25  each  for  the  first  year.  Beavers  was  soon  after, 
June  23,  married  to  Mary  J.  Cummins,  of  this  township. 

The  Justices  since  then,  as  far  as  the  county  records  show,  have  been  : 
William  Harding,  1839-49  ;  John  Strang,  1843-48  ;  Hawley  Peck,  1848-51  : 
William  D.  Sloan,  1849-50 ;  William  H.  H.  Aldrich,  1850-52 ;  John  Strang, 
1851-55  ;  Nathan  P.  Osburn,  1852-56 ;  William  Price,  1856-60  ;  John  L. 
Strang,  1860-64 ;  William  Yarwood,  1865-73  ;  Orvin  Kent,  1867-71 ;  Wil- 
lard Hervey,  1871-75 ;  James  Chandler,  1873-77 ;  Thomas  H.  Low,  1875- 
79;  James  Chandler,  1877-81;  Norman  Babcock,  1879.  The  records 
of  the  township  were  kept  on  papers  or  memorandum  books  until  1844, 
when  the  Trustees  made  an  appropriation  for  record  books  and  for  copy- 
ing old  records.  But  the  records,  notwithstanding  this  provision,  are  not  to  be 
found  for  any  earlier  year  than  1842.  The  place  of  election  was  then  still  at 
the  house  of  Elijah  Pixley.  The  spring  election  of  that  year  resulted  in  the 
choice  of  Elijah  Osborn,  William  Dallas  and  John  Strang,  as  Trustees ;  N.  P. 
Osborn,  Clerk,  and  Anson  Lewis  and  Caleb  Strang,  Constables.  At  that  time, 
there  were  three  Trustees.  In  1845,  William  Dallas,  William  Harding  and 
Benjamin  Chandler  were  elected;  in  1846,  Chandler,  Charles  Roy  and  Amos 
Newhouse  ;  in  1848,  Chandler,  Roy  and  E.  Osborn  ;  in  1850,  William  Baxter, 
Charles  Roy  and  John  Kitchen ;  in  1852,  Baxter,  Kitchen  and  W.  D.  Sloan  ; 
in  1854,  Charles  G.  Doty,  Erastus  Nelson  and  John  Tumbleson.  At  the  spring 
election  of  next  year,  but  one  Trustee  was  elected,  and  this  has  since  been  the 


CLEAR  SPRING  TP.  ' 


CLEARSPRING    TOWNSHIP.  217 

rule.  The  Trustees  since  have  been  :  Schuyler  Nelson,  1855  ;  John  Kitchen, 
Sr.,  1859 ;  Schuyler  Nelson,  1862 ;  John  Kitchen,  Sr.,  1863 ;  Joel  Mil- 
ler, 1864 ;  Christopher  Hooley,  1865  ;  Erastus  Nelson,  1870 ;  John  Green- 
await,  1876 ;  John  Price,  1880.  Among  the  early  Clerks  were  W.  H. 
H.  Aldridge,  in  1846;  William  H.  Price,  1850,  who  still  lives  in  the 
township  with  his  son,  the  present  Trustee,  and  Richard  Green,  a  popular, 
but  rather  eccentric  old  settler,  who  for  many  years  constituted  the  "  Anti- 
Masonic  party  "  in  the  county.  The  place  of  election  was  in  1842  removed  to 
the  house  of  Nathan  Bishop ;  in  1845,  to  Charles  Roy's,  and  about  1854  to  the 
Bishop  Schoolhouse. 

At  the  taking  of  the  1880  census,  the  returns  for  the  township 
show  that  the  following-named  persons,  residents  thereof,  were  of  the  age 
set  opposite  their  names,  the  object  being  to  show  those  who  had  attained 
the  age  of  seventy-five  or  over,  viz.:  Robert  Bishop,  seventy-nine;  Sarah 
Misner,  seventy-five  ;  Eliza  Parks,  seventy -five  ;  Samuel  Smith,  seventy-five  ; 
Benjamin  Wortinger,   seventy-five ;  Charles  S.  Sperling,  eighty-eight. 

In  1846,  Hawley  Peck  began  the  growing  of  mint  and  manufacture  of  oil, 
which  became  quite  an  industry  in  the  township.  The  oil  was  canned  and 
shipped  to  the  East,  or  sold  to  buyers  who  would  collect  it,  and  found  a  ready 
sale  at  prices  varying  from  $1.25  to  $5  per  pound.  Several  persons  engaged  in 
mint  raising,  Charles  Roy  and  Erastus  Nelson  being  among  the  earliest  and 
most  extensive  growers.  The  annual  production  varied  in  value  between 
$5,000  and  $10,000,  until  within  the  last  few  years,  when  the  industry  has 
been  discontinued. 

Before  1850,  there  was  serious  talk  of  running  the  road  now  called  the 
Lake  Shore  &•  Michigan  Southern  Air  Line,  through  the  southern  part  of  the 
township.  A  line  was  surveyed,  and  there  were  positive  assurances  of  the 
building  of  the  road  through  Clearspring,  which  induced  the  hope  of  a  speedy 
rise  in  the  value  of  real  estate,  and  the  growth  of  a  flourishing  town  on  the  site 
of  "  Slabtown."  Years  after,  when  the  road  was  finally  built,  the  superior 
persuasive  powers  of  the  land-owners  of  the  little  village  of  Kendallville  led 
the  engineers  to  adopt  a  more  southern  route,  and  Clearspring's  first  hope  of 
being  on  an  east-and-west  iron  line  was  blasted.  But  it  was  through  no  fault 
of  the  early  settlers,  who  did  their  best  to  secure  the  road,  and  were  at  one  time 
positively  assured  of  it. 

As  there  has  never  been  a  village  in  the  township,  the  business  history  is 
very  light.  The  first  store  was  kept  by  the  Cummings  family,  south  of  "  Slab- 
town,"  upon  the  Eden  town  line,  and  Timothy  Hudson,  Jr.,  afterward  kept  a 
store  at  his  house  in  Clearspring,  in  connection  with  the  saw-mill  and  tannery. 
The  first  brick  yard  was  on  Harrison  Smith's  land,  on  "Jordan  street,"  and 
two  are  now  in  operation,  by  B.  F.  Ditman  and  Henry  J.  Ulmer. 

In  1873,  there  were  two  granges  of  the  Patrons  of  Husbandry  organized 
in  the  township.     One,  the  Clearspring  Grange,  met  at  Pixley's  Schoolhouse, 


218  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

and  had  at  one  time  forty  members.  The  Worthy  Master  was  John  Gillette, 
and  Secretary,  Ira  Ford.  The  Dallas  Grange  met  at  Curl's  ;  Ichabod  Jones 
was  the  first  presiding  officer.  These  associations  survived  until  1880.  This 
movement  met  with  greater  encouragement  in  this  township  and  Eden  than  in 
any  other  part  of  the  county. 

The  numerous  narrow  trails  of  the  Indians  were  the  first  roads  of  the 
settlers,  but  steps  were  soon  taken  to  make  highways.  Anthony  Nelson  was 
at  one  time  notified  of  his  appointment  as  Road  Supervisor,  and  promptly  mus- 
tered his  forces  and  went  to  work,  camping  out  nights  until  his  job  was  com- 
pleted. His  road  district  extended  from  Lima  to  Ligonier.  Elijah  Pixley  was 
one  of  the  earliest  Supervisors,  and  built  the  road  running  east  from  Sycamore 
Corners  in  1835-36.  Orvin  Kent,  not  at  that  time  a  permanent  resident  in  the 
township,  but  who  later  became  one  of  the  most  influential  men  of  Clearspring, 
was  that  year  upon  his  land,  and  was  called  upon  to  assist  on  this  road.  This 
was  the  first  road  in  the  township,  and  formed  part  of  the  Haw  Patch,  or 
Ligonier  road. 

In  1842,  the  township  was  divided  into  four  road  districts,  which  increased 
to  eleven  in  1846,  and  now  number  fifteen.  The  roads  are  generally  good  ones, 
and  kept  in  excellent  condition.  In  1872,  there  was  an  excellent  prospect  for 
the  building  of  the  Chicago  &  Canada  Southern  road  through  the  south  of  the 
township.  It  was,  in  fact,  a  sure  thing.  But  the  panic  of  1873  came,  and 
Clearspring  is  still  without  a  railroad. 

The  first  school  in  the  town  was  held  in  a  little  log  house  on  Charles 
Roy's  land,  southwest  of  Clearspring,  in  the  fall  of  1839.  The  teacher  was 
Miss  Anna  Maria  Crosby  (daughter  of  Simeon  C),  who  married  Samuel  Dallas 
in  1841.  The  pioneer  schoolma'am  then,  dressed  in  homespun  linsey-woolsey, 
teaching  in  a  log  house,  twelve  feet  square,  for  $1.25  per  week,  was  in  great 
contrast,  as  to  her  surroundings  and  facilities,  with  the  teacher  of  modern  days 
in- the  comfortable  buildings  which  dot  the  township  over.  But  in  earnest 
teaching  and  real  success  in  their  work,  the  first  school  teachers  need  fear 
nothing  from  a  contrast  with  the  modern  "educator."  The  text-books  which 
the  boys  and  girls  of  that  day  used  were  mainly  Webster's  Speller,  the  New 
Testament  and  the  Old  English  Reader.  This  log  building,  which  has  now 
disappeared,  had  been  Mr.  Roy's  first  house,  and  besides  serving  as  an  educa- 
tional institution,  also  afforded  a  temporary  shelter  for  many  poor  pioneers  until 
they  could  build  log  cabins  of  their  own.  In  1840,  two  schoolhouses  were 
built  of  logs,  one  at  Hervey's  Corners,  by  Willard  Hervey,  and  the  other  at 
Hiram  Taylor's,  and  the  township  was  divided  into  two  school  districts.  The 
first  teacher  at  the  Hervey  Schoolhouse  was  Joseph  Miller.  The  building  of 
schoolhouses,  at  this  early  day,  by  levies  of  school  tax,  was  too  slow  a  method, 
and  in  1855  the  citizens  were  granted  the  privilege  of  building  and  repairing 
schoolhouses  with  the  right  of  having  credit  for  the  same  on  their  subsequent 
taxes.     Soon  after,  one  district  agreed,  as  the  record  runs,  "  nem.  con.  to  build 


CLEARSPRING    TOWNSHIP.  219 

a  hewed  log  house,  18x20."  In  1841,  the  township,  divided  by  sections,  in- 
cluded only  seven  districts,  but  the  schools  were  not  crowded,  as  the  enumera- 
tion four  years  later  shows  but  fifty-two  school  children  in  the  township.  One 
of  the  earliest  schoolhouses  was  Pixley's,  about  1850,  on  Section  28,  and  was 
built  by  that  neighborhood.  The  old  log  house  was  replaced  by  a  frame  in 
1861.  In  1856,  the  house  at  Hiram  Taylor's  was  rebuilt.  In  1849,  Orvin 
Kent  deeded  land  for  the  site  of  the  Sycamore  Schoolhouse,  so  called  on  account 
of  a  tall  Sycamore  at  the  corners  ;  this  school  district  was  formed  through  the 
efforts  of  Orvin  Kent  and  others,  and  includes  territory  in  Eden  and  Clear- 
spring.  A  new  schoolhouse  was  built  further  east  in  1870;  on  the  same 
section  stands  the  Walnut  Schoolhouse,  with  the  Walnuts  still  there,  built  in 
1861.  The  "Jordan  "  Schoolhouse,  built  in  1860,  and  the  Wertinger,  in  1863, 
are  still  in  use.  A  log  schoolhouse  was  erected  on  Nathan  Bishop's  land,  on 
the  east  line  of  Section  2'2,  in  1850,  which  has  since  disappeared,  being  replaced 
by  the  Sloan  house  in  1860,  a  short  distance  north.  Near  this  schoolhouse 
lies  the  old  burying-ground,  started  before  1850,  now  known  as  Sloan's.  The 
Hackenburg  or  Red  Schoolhouse,  dates  back  to  1865,  and  Harris'  to  about  the 
same  year.  The  first  brick  schoolhouse  was  the  Chandler,  built  in  1877. 
Another  one  has  just  been  completed,  in  the  same  quarter,  called  Streeter's, 
which  takes  the  place  of  the  old  Curl  Schoolhouse,  which  was  first  built  about 
1841.  According  to  the  latest  statistics,  the  township  has  351  pupils,  who 
are  instructed  in  twelve  schoolhouses.  The  average  length  of  school  is  140 
days.  The  revenue  of  last  year  was  ^4,969.67,  and  the  value  of  school  build- 
ings is  $5,000. 

The  earliest  preacher,  Nathan  Bishop,  has  already  been  spoken  of  The 
first  society  to  be  organized  in  the  township  was  one  of  the  Methodist  Episco- 
pal Church,  which  held  its  meetings  at  Swank's  house,  over  the  line  in  Noble 
County.  Among  the  members  of  this  little  congregation  were  Elijah  Pixley, 
Mark  Kinnison,  Mrs.  Ruth  Ray  and  Henderson  Potts.  Rev.  James  Latta,  of 
the  Haw  Patch,  was  the  organizer.  The  famous  itinerants,  Posey  and  Allen, 
had  preached  here  before  the  society  was  formed,  and  paved  the  way  for  it. 
This  society  soon  died  out,  and  was  succeeded  in  that  neighborhood  by  a  Meth- 
odist Protestant  Church,  meeting  at  Hervey's  (or  Ray's)  Schoolhouse.  The 
first  quarterly  meeting  was  held  here  February  15, 1845,  when  Willard  Hervey 
was  licensed  as  an  exhorter.  Rev.  Beardsley  was  the  pastor  in  charge  at  this 
time,  and  this  was  one  of  the  societies  in  the  Goshen  Circuit.  A  church  of  th  e 
same  denomination  was  organized  at  the  Taylor  Schoolhouse  in  1851.  There 
was  also  a  Methodist  society  meeting  at  John  Hammond's  on  the  Clay  town 
line,  which  was  preached  to  by  William  Connelly  and  James  Latta. 

Of  late  years,  an  Amish  organization  has  been  formed  in  the  northwest 
part  of  the  township,  which  has  its  meetings  by  appointment  at  convenient 
places  among  its  members.  The  church  of  the  "Best  Endeavor  "  is  one  of 
the  most  recent  religious  organizations.     This  somewhat  familiar  title  attaches 


220  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

to  the  congregation  formerly  meeting  in  the  Pixley  Schoolhouse,  and  now  in 
the  Beulah  Church,  and  for  several  years  addressed  by  Rev.  John  Paul  Jones, 
of  La  Grange.  It  is  quite  unsectarian  in  character.  The  origin  of  the  church 
building  is  quite  interesting.  The  land  upon  which  it  stands  was  deeded  by 
John  Greenawalt  to  the  Evangelical  Union  Mennonites,  to  be  used  by  them, 
but  to  be  free  for  other  churches,  and  after  their  disuse  of  it,  to  go  to  any  other 
Christian  organization  under  the  same  conditions.  Here  a  handsome  brick 
church  was  built,  principally  by  popular  subscription,  and  was  dedicated  May 
8,  1881,  the  services  being  conducted  by  Rev.  J.  P.  Jones,  assisted  by  Revs. 
D.  Brenneman  and  Thomas  H.  Low.  The  building  is,  in  dimensions,  32x54, 
is  furnished  with  comfortable  seats,  and  cost  $3,000,  The  erection  of  this 
church  is  in  great  part  due  to  the  efforts  of  Thomas  H.  Low,  formerly  a  min- 
ister in  the  Mennonite  Church.  This  society  was  organized  in  1867,  by  Elder 
John  Krupp,  with  thirty  members,  and  held  its  early  meetings  at  the  Walnut 
Schoolhouse. 

The  township,  as  a  whole,  does  not  make  a  proper  showing  in  the  way  of 
churches.  The  fact  is  that  on  every  side  there  are  churches  just  outside  the 
township  limits,  which  draw  much  of  their  attendance  from  Clearspring,  and 
this  explains  a  fact  which  might  tend  against  the  fame  of  a  people  who  are,  as 
a  whole,  industrious,  religious  and  public-spirited. 


CHAPTER  XIII. 

BY  WESTON  A.  GOODSPEED. 


Greenfield  Township— The  First  Settlement  on  Pretty  and  English 
Prairies— The  Gage  and  Langdon  War— Appearance  of  Industries- 
Villagers  OF  Vistula  and  Lexington— The  First  School  and  Teacher 
—Educational  Growth— Revival  of  1840— Religious  Societies  —  The 
Spiritualists. 

THE  lands  in  Southern  Michigan  were  in  market  some  years  before  those  of 
Northern  Indiana,  and  were,  of  course,  purchased  and  occupied  by  sturdy 
pioneers  who  had  come  from  the  East.  Many  of  these  men  soon  became  dis- 
satisfied with  their  new  homes,  as  the  land  was  covered  with  an  almost  unbroken 
forest,  which  must  be  removed  before  the  soil  could  be  cultivated.  This  prom- 
ised many  years  of  unremitting  toil,  and  the  outlook  for  those  who  had  just 
come  from  Europe,  or  who  were  unused  to  the  ways  of  the  woods,  was  cheerless 
and  discouraging.  During  the  year  1829  there  came  to  near  White  Pigeon, 
Mich.,  the  following  men  and  their  families :  Amos  Barr  (who  arrived  in  the 
spring),  John  Anderson,  Samuel  Anderson,  William  Miller,  Benjamin  Jones, 
John  and  Felix  Miller  (brothers),  Jesse  Huntsman,  Ephraim  Seeley,  Jacob 
Croy,  and  perhaps  others.      Some  of  these  families  came  from  Ohio — a  number 


(JjAAyiytoW      (f^juJe. 


CLEAR  SPRING  TP. 


GREENFIELD    TOWNSHIP.  223 

from  the  same  neighborhood — while  others  were  directly  from  Europe,  or  from 
the  Eastern  or  Middle  States.     They  were  not  all  in  the  same  vicinity  in  Mich- 
igan, but,  during  the  year,  they  all  became  aware  of  the  fact  that,  in  what  is  now 
northern  La  Grange  County,  several  rich,  extensive  and  beautiful  prairies  were 
to  be  found  where  the  soil  needed  no  preparation  for  grain  save  the  action  of 
the  plow.     But  at  that  period  these  prairies  were  not  yet  marketable,  and,  in 
order  to  secure  a  right  to  the  land,  "  claims  "  were  located,  and  the  settlers  pre- 
pared to  enjoy  a  squatter's  life  until  the  prairie  claims  could  be  bought.     It  is 
well  authenticated  that  the  above-named  men  located  claims  on  Pretty  and  En- 
glish Prairies  during  the  year  1829.     The  first  to  do  this  cannot  be  known. 
From  the  fact  that  Amos  Barr  was  by  several  months  the  first  to  reach  South- 
ern Michigan,  it  may  be  presumed  that  he  was  at  least  (if  not  the  first)  one  of 
the  first  to  establish  a  claim  in  Greenfield  Township.     A  few  of  the  men — as 
William  Miller  and  Benjamin  Jones — did  not  reach  Southern  Michigan  until 
late  in  the  fall  of  1829,  and,  of  course,  their  claims  on  the  prairies  were  not 
made  until  that  time.     Claims  in  the  woods  were  established  by  blazed  trees  ; 
those  on  the  prairies  by  stakes  or  by  plowed  furrows.    So  far  as  known,  Amos  Barr 
was  the  first  man  to  erect  a  cabin  in  the  township,  this  being  done  during  the 
fall  of  1829,  but  the  building  was  roofless  and  floorless,  and  was  probably  erected 
to  more  fully  establish  the  right  to  the  claim,  around  which  (the  prairie  portion) 
a  furrow  was  plowed  before  cold  weather  set  in.     Often  during  the  winter  of 
1829-30,  these  men  (who  resided  in  Southern  Michigan)  visited  their  claims  to 
see  that  others  had  not  usurped   their  rights.     Thus  the  winter  was  passed. 
Quite  early  in  the  spring  of  1830,  William  Miller  and  Benjamin  Jones  (who 
had  spent  the  previous  winter,  either  in  the  same  cabin  or  in  two  that  were  close 
together)  loaded  their  goods  in  probably  the  same  wagon,  tore  the  roof  ofi"  the  cabin 
in  which  they  had  lived  and  placed  it  on  the  wagon,  and  then  moved  with  their 
families  to  near  the  present  site  of  Lexington.     Small  tents  were  improvised 
until  two  rude  cabins  (perhaps  they  do  not  deserve  so  dignified  a  name)  had 
been  built.     Miller's  cabin  was  located  southwest  of  the  village,  while  Jones' 
was  near  the  northern  part  of  the  same.     This  occurred  in  April  or  May,  and 
these  were,  so  far  as   known,  the  first  families  in  the  township.     During  the 
same  year  (1830),  there  settled  mostly  on  the  prairies  of  Greenfield,  the  following 
men  and  their  families :     Amos  Barr,  Thomas  Burnell,  John  Emerson,  John 
Olney,  Mr.  Sutford,  Jesse  Huntsman,  Felix  Miller,  James  Miller,  Jesse  Champ- 
lin,  Samuel  Anderson,  Ephraim  Seeley,  Jabob  Croy,  Mr.  Wolgamott  and  several 
others.     During  the  next  year  or  two,  all  the  prairie  land  was  "claimed,"  and 
by  the  time  the  county  was  organized,  in  1832,  at  least   twenty-five   families 
resided  in  the  township  (in  what  is  now  Greenfield).     Some  of  these  families 
were  those  of  McKal,  William  Brumley,  Samuel  Robinson,  Mr.  Leeper,  Sam- 
uel Fish,  Jacob  Miller,  Silas  Thrailkeld,  Amasa  Norton,  Edmund  Littlefield, 
Milton  and  Oliver  Smith,  Thomas  and  Samuel  Parham  (1836),   Samuel  Brad- 
ford, Harlo  and  William   Hern,  Mr.  Switzer,   Mr.   Gale,  William  Legg,  Mr. 


224  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

Stead,  Mr.  Wade,  Thomas  Lozenby,  Jacob  Vandeventer,  D.  Lewis  (colored), 
John  Leak,  William  Adair,  George  Donaldson,  John  Safely,  Samuel  and  James 
Burnside,  David  and  Otis  Stevenson,  Samuel  Gawthrop,  David  Allen,  John 
Kelley  and  a  host  of  others  who  continued  to  come  in  very  fast. 

At  the  organization  of  the  county  in  1832,  it  was  divided  into  two  town- 
ships— Lima  and  Greenfield — the  latter  including  all  that  part  of  the  present 
county  as  lies  east  of  the  middle  line  of  Range  10  west,  together  with  portions 
of  Noble  and  Steuben  Counties.  Ephraim  Seeley  was  appointed  Assessor  for 
the  then  Greenfield  Township,  and  an  election  was  ordered  to  be  held  on  the 
second  Saturday  of  June,  1832,  for  the  selection  of  two  Justices  of  the  Peace, 
Jessie  Champlin  receiving  the  appointment  of  Inspector  of  Election.  The 
Commissioners  also  appointed  Ebenezer  Fish  and  William  Miller,  Fence  Viewers ; 
John  Anderson  and  Samuel  Burnside,  Overseers  of  the  Poor.  At  this  first 
election,  Mr.  Seeley  was  elected  one  of  the  Justices,  but  the  name  of  the  other 
is  forgotten,  as  are  also  those  of  the  other  officers  elected  at  the  same  time. 

Improvements  went  on  very  rapidly  during  the  years  1830, 1831  and  1832. 
Nearly  or  quite  all  the  prairie  land  was  broken  up  and  fenced  ofi"  into  farms, 
and  homes  were  established  in  the  surrounding  woods.  At  last,  when  the  town- 
ship was  surveyed  and  the  land  thrown  into  market,  a  great  rush  was  made  by 
an  army  of  anxious  squatters  to  secure  the  land  they  had  partially  improved, 
and  upon  which  they  then  lived.  It  was  during  the  Black  Hawk  war  (summer 
of  1832)  that  the  citizens  of  Greenfield  and  surrounding  townships  were  thrown 
into  a  fever  of  fear  by  what  is  remembered  as  "  The  Gage  War."  Two  men, 
named  respectively  Gage  and  Langdon,  went  one  day  to  mill  in  the  northern 
part  of  Springfield  Township.  Before  this,  considerable  talk  had  been  indulged 
in  concerning  the  probability  of  the  Indians  arising  in  war  against  the  settlers, 
as  large  bands  were  then  in  the  county,  and  the  border  struggle  farther  west  was 
not  unknown  to  them.  This  talk  prepared  the  minds  of  the  settlers  for  what  was 
to  follow.  Gage,  Langdon,  the  miller  and  others  at  the  mill  renewed  the  gossip, 
continuing  it  until  late  at  night,  when  the  former  two  retired  with  some  serious 
misgivings  in  their  minds.  After  they  had  gone  to  bed,  it  was  resolved  by  three 
or  four  at  the  mill  to  give  them  an  "  Indian  scare"  early  the  next  morning. 
Two  or  three,  or  perhaps  more,  assisted  by  several  Indians,  dressed  themselves 
in  full  Indian  war  costume,  with  war  paint  and  blanket  and  tomahawk,  etc. 
The  next  morning,  while  Gage  and  Langdon  were  talking  in  front  of  the  mill 
with  the  miller,  a  large  Indian  suddenly  showed  himself  from  behind  a  tree 
near  by,  and,  raising  his  rifle  quickly,  fired,  and  the  miller  fell  to  the  earth 
apparently  in  the  agonies  of  death,  exclaiming.  "  My  God,  the  Indians  !  I'm 
shot !  "  The  Indian  who  had  apparently  shot  the  miller  and  one  or  two  others 
came  leaping  forward,  swinging  their  tomahawks  and  yelling  like  demons. 
Gage  and  Langdon  instantly  fled  from  the  scene  at  the  top  of  their  speed.  Gage 
going  north  in  the  excitement,  and  Langdon  south.  They  made  excellent  time 
across  the  country,  informing  every  one  they  saw  that  the  Indians  were  coming, 


GREENFIELD    TOWNSHIP.  225 

that  they  had  shot  all  at  the  mill,  and  were  sweeping  out  through  the  surround- 
ing country.  The  result  may  be  readily  imagined.  The  most  intense  excite- 
ment prevailed,  and  families  fled  in  every  direction.  Gage  reached  Lexington, 
and  the  families  in  that  neighborhood  gathered  at  the  blacksmith  shop  of  George 
Donaldson,  into  which  the  women  and  children  were  thrust,  while  the  men 
began  to  fell  trees  and  cut  logs,  for  the  purpose  of  hastily  building  a  fort  (after- 
ward called  Fort  Donaldson).  Families  living  in  the  western  part  hastily 
resolved  to  fortify  the  island  in  Cedar  Lake.  There  they  fled,  and  began  the 
work  of  constructing  the  fort.  Many  very  interesting  incidents  occurred,  but, 
within  a  day  or  two,  the  delusion  was  dispelled.  The  logs  cut  for  "  Fort  Don- 
aldson "  remained  at  the  spot  for  many  years.  More  of  this  interesting  event 
will  be  found  in  other  chapters. 

Industries  sprang  up  at  a  very  early  day.  Orrin  Howard  was  a  chair- 
maker  in  the  northern  part,  his  power  being  a  horse-lathe.  It  is  said  that  he 
turned  out  300  chairs  a  year.  Milton  Smith  was  an  early  blacksmith,  but 
George  Donaldson  was  the  first  Vulcan  in  the  township.  The  large  stone  lying 
near  the  shop  of  the  latter  was  hauled  there  by  Samuel  Bradford,  to  be  pre- 
pared by  Donaldson  for  the  grist-mill  that  was  afterward  erected  in  Springfield 
Township.  A  small  "corn-cracker"  was  erected  at  Lexington  in  a  very  early 
day.  It  did  not  amount  to  much,  and  was  soon  adandoned.  Milton  Smith 
was  also  a  tool-maker ;  could  make  axes,  chisels,  adzes,  grubbing-hoes,  etc. 
A  post  office  was  at  Howard's  house  for  a  number  of  years.  Warren  Barney, 
in  the  northeastern  part,  manufactured,  by  means  of  a  horse-lathe,  large  and 
small  spinning-wheels,  and  other  wooden  articles.  Daniel  Waite  made  tables, 
stands,  bedsteads,  bureaus,  etc.  The  early  settlers  in  the  northern  part  got  their 
whisky  at  a  distillery  just  across  the  line  in  Michigan.  The  road  running  north 
and  south  across  the  western  end  of  the  township  was  early  known  as  "  Smoky 
Row,"  from  the  numerous  log  cabins  that  were  built  thereon  very  early;  for  on 
winter  mornings,  when  a  fire  was  started  in  each  house,  the  settlers  on  the 
opposite  side  of  the  prairie  were  furnished  a  fine  sight — a  smoky  row.  Pretty 
Prairie  is  said  to  have  received  its  name  from  the  following  circumstance :  Sev- 
eral men,  just  from  Ohio,  were  standing  at  the  residence  of  "William  Miller,  on 
the  south  side  of  the  prairie.  Looking  northward,  they  saw  a  beautiful  pict- 
ure. The  long  expanse  of  prairie  land  spread  its  bosom  of  green  velvet  to  the 
autumnal  sun,  and  stretched  away  until  terminated  by  clusters  of  oak  and 
maple,  dyed  in  gorgeous  colors  by  Nature's  hand  that  crowned  with  beauty 
the  higher  lands  on  the  north.  The  strangers  were  delighted,  and  one  of  their 
number  asked,  "  What  do  you  call  this  ?  "  "  0 — o — h,"  replied  Mr.  Miller, 
"we  don't  call  it  anything."  "Well,"  said  the  stranger,  "it's  a  mighty 
pretty  prairie.  You  might  call  it  Pretty  Prairie."  The  name  circulated, 
became  popular  and  is  now  permanent.  "  English  Prairie  "  received  its  name 
from  the  fact  that  many  of  the  first  to  locate  there  had  just  come  from  En- 
gland.    People,  in  speaking  of  the  place,  called  it  by  that  name.     It  is  also 


226  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

permanent.  Many  of  the  English  retained  for  a  number  of  years  their  foreign 
customs.  "  Old  Tommy"  Burnell  wore  knee-breeches  and  long  stockings,  as 
did  some  of  the  others.  Mr.  Burnell  brought  with  him  from  his  temporary 
home  in  Michigan  two  small  sashes,  in  which  were  three  or  four  panes  of 
glass.     These  were  used  in  his  old  log  cabin. 

Samuel  Burnside,  in  about  the  year  1834,  erected  a  saw-mill  in  the  north- 
eastern corner,  on  Crooked  Creek.  This  mill,  with  many  alterations,  numerous 
owners,  and  stoppages  from  time  to  time,  has  been  in  operation  ever  since.  At 
times,  it  has  done  excellent  and  extensive  work.  As  nearly  as  the  writer  could 
learn,  Burnside  owned  the  mill  until  about  the  year  1845,  when  it  and  the  farm 
upon  which  it  stands  were  sold  to  Peter  Bisel.  It  is  possible  that  Burnside  sold 
to  another,  and  the  latter  to  Bisel.  The  facts  could  not  be  learned.  In  about 
the  year  1846,  Bisel  erected  the  grist-mill  on  the  same  water-power.  This  mill 
is  yet  running,  and  has  done  a  vast  amount  of  grinding  in  its  day.  It  is  a  large 
frame  structure,  has  passed  through  many  hands,  and  has  fed  thousands.  Bisel, 
in  about  1847,  placed  a  stock  of  goods  at  the  mill,  and  soon  afterward  a  post 
office  was  established  there.  Bisel  was  quite  a  wealthy  man  for  that  day,  and 
put  a  great  deal  of  money  on  the  mill  site  to  improve  it,  and  render  permanent 
the  excellent  water-power  there.  The  money  in  many  ways  was  not  judiciously 
expended  ;  at  least,  Bisel  became  embarrassed,  and,  in  about  1854,  sold  the  en- 
tire property  to  Amos  Davis  ;  since  then,  others  have  owned  it.  Goods  have 
been  sold  there  the  most  of  the  time  since.  A  small  town  grew  up  about  the 
mills — a  very  small  one. 

In  the  year  1836,  Elisha  U.  Shepard  and  Bazaleel  Alvord  secured  the 
services  of  a  surveyor  and  laid  out  a  village  which  was  named  Vistula,  on  Sec- 
tion 25,  on  the  banks  of  Wall  Lake.  The  village  on  paper  was  a  beautiful  place, 
and  the  plat  was  taken  East  and  exhibited,  and  several  men  there  were  induced 
to  buy  blocks  and  corner  lots.  When  they  came  West  to  sell  their  property  at 
a  handsome  profit,  or  to  erect  thereon  fine  buildings,  their  wrath  became  fiery 
and  volcanic.  In  short,  they  had  been  deceived,  as  not  a  house  was  standing  in 
the  village,  nor  ever  was.  The  lake  was  a  nice  place,  with  walls  of  earth  and 
gravel  formed  by  the  agency  of  ice  surrounding  it.  The  village  on  its  banks 
was  a  "•  paper  village  " — nothing  more. 

In  July,  1836,  John  Kromer,  surveyor,  laid  out  twelve  blocks  of  eight  lots 
each,  and  four  blocks  of  six  lots  each,  on  Sections  25  and  30,  for  Abraham  K. 
Brower  and  Joseph  Skerritt,  who  named  the  village  Lexington.  Very  soon 
after  this,  Peter  Bisel  erected  a  store  building  there,  and  began  selling  from  a 
stock  of  goods  valued  at  $2,000.  The  stock  was  subsequently  increased  until 
worth  about  $6,000,  at  which  time  the  owner  enjoyed  an  extensive  and  profit- 
able trade.  Abraham  Brower  was  at  first  his  clerk,  but  later  his  partner.  A 
few  years  after  Bisel  began,  Chancey  Adams  also  opened  a  store,  but  his  busi- 
ness was  not  as  extensive  as  that  of  the  former.  In  1847,  there  were  seven  or 
eight  families  residing  in  Lexington.     Bisel  was  in  the  Crandall  storeroom ; 


(3^^^^94^Pi^^ 


GREENFIELD    TP. 


GREENFIELD    TOAVNSHIP.  229 

Adams  was  in  a  building  opposite.  Ira  Crandall  was  the  proprietor  of  a  small 
hotel.  A  shoemaker  and  a  blacksmith  were  there.  In  1848,  H.  R.  Crandall 
bought  the  Bisel  store  building  and  residence,  together  with  three  lots.  He  be- 
gan selling  from  $3,000  worth  of  goods,  the  stock  being  slowly  increased  as  the 
years  went  by,  and  continued  until  his  death  in  1870,  since  which  time  his 
widow  has  successfully  conducted  the  business.  Bisel  was  probably  the  first 
Postmaster ;  but,  in  1847,  Adams  was.  Since  1848,  the  Crandalls  have  had  the 
office,  except  for  a  short  time,  when  George  Donaldson  handled  the  property  of 
Uncle  Sam.  In  1848,  Adams  sold  out  to  George  L.  Gale,  who  erected  the 
Long  storehouse.  Gale  continued  about  five  years.  Robert  Dayton  owned 
the  property  for  a  while.  Other  merchants  have  been  H.  J.  Hall,  Andrew 
Davidson,  Shope,  Scripture,  Weidler,  Wade  and  Long  &  Shut.  Wade  owns  a 
small  grocery  now,  and  James  Mix  is  conducting  a  small  broom  factory. 
"  Brighton  "  is  the  name  of  the  post  office.  Dr.  Charles  Pritchard  was  at  the 
village  early,  as  were  Drs.  Patterson  and  Reynolds.  In  1849,  Dr.  Delos  W. 
Rupert  located  there,  remaining  until  the  war  broke  out,  when  he  became  Sur- 
geon of  the  Thirtieth  Infantry  Volunteers,  but  died  at  Nashville,  Tenn.,  in 
1862.  It  is  said  that  John  Anderson  built  the  first  frame  house  in  the  town- 
ship in  1833  ;  his  frame  barn  was  erected  the  following  year.  Mr.  Wolgamot 
probably  built  the  second  frame  dwelling.  It  is  said  that  Hiram  Anderson, 
whose  birth  occurred  in  the  fall  of  1830,  was  the  first  white  child  born  in  the 
township,  Samuel  Bradford,  the  present  County  Clerk,  was  born  in  Green- 
field in  April,  1832.  He  claims  to  be  the  oldest  male  person  living  whose 
birth  occurred  in  La  Grange  County,  Some  dispute  has  arisen  over  this 
mooted  question,  and  the  old  ladies  should  immediately  proceed  to  settle  the 
discussion  by  public  announcements  from  official  sources.  The  first  marriage 
in  Greenfield  was  that  of  Samuel  Gawthrop  to  Ellen  D.  Wolgamot  in  the  fall 
of  1830.  They  were  married  by  Samuel  Stewart,  Esq.,  who  lived  just  across 
the  line  in  Michigan.  Not  long  afterward,  Mrs.  Gawthrop  died,  her  death 
being  the  first.  The  following  persons  had  passed,  in  1880,  the  age  of  seventy- 
five  years  :  Mary  Blaseus,  seventy-six  ;  Cyrus  Fillmore,  seventy-eight ;  James 
Pollock,  seventy-nine  ;  Jane  Scripture,  eighty ;  John  Troyer,  seventy-five  ; 
Caroline  H.  Wheeler,  seventy-five ;  Brewster  Barrows,  seventy-five ;  Laura 
Fillmore,  seventy-six ;  Ruhama  Taylor,  eighty-two ;  William  Wheeler,  seventy- 
nine.     Benjamin  Reed  had  reached  the  age  of  seventy-four  years. 

Late  in  the  autumn  of  1830,  the  squatters  living  near  Lexington  took 
possession  of  a  vacant  log  cabin  that  was  standing  a  short  distance  southwest 
of  the  village,  fitted  it  up  with  desks  and  seats,  and  employed  Miss  Jane  M. 
Clark  (afterward  Mrs.  Judge  Prentiss)  to  teach  a  three-months'  term,  paying 
her  $2  per  week,  and  giving  her  the  doubtfully  enjoyable  privilege  of  boarding 
around.  This  worthy  lady,  who  is  yet  living,  said  her  enrollment  of  scholars 
was  about  sixty.  The  school  is  remembered  as  an  excellent  one.  Miss  Clark 
also  taught  in  the  same  house  the  succeeding  summer.     The  cabin  was  thus  used 


230  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

until  about  the  year  1836  or  1837,  when  a  large  frame  schoolhouse  was  erected 
in  the  village,  the  greater  portion  of  the  expense  being  borne  by  members  of 
the  "  Community  of  Saints."  The  building  was  divided  into  two  rooms,  and 
was  to  be  occupied  by  all  religious  denominations.  This  school  immediately 
became  (with  the  exception  of  the  one  at  Ontario)  the  best  in  the  county. 
From  1838  to  1845,  the  enrollment  was  over  100.  Two  teachers  were  em- 
ployed, or  as  some  say  three,  and  the  school  was  graded.  Daniel  Graham, 
afterward  President  of  Hillsdale  College,  was  one  of  the  teachers.  Good  wages 
were  paid,  and  none  but  good  teachers  were  employed.  After  1845,  the  school 
began  to  decline  in  importance.  The  frame  house  was  used  until  about  1854, 
when  it  was  displaced  by  another  frame,  which  was  used  until  the  present  brick 
was  erected  about  eleven  years  ago.  It  is  said  that  George  Green  was  the  first 
teacher  in  the  first  frame  schoolhouse.  Other  teachers  in  the  same  house  were 
William  Hopkins,  Mrs.  Catharine  McKinney  and  John  Wylie.  Hiram  Smith, 
of  Mongo,  taught  in  the  old  log  house,  as  did  a  young  minister  named  Merrell. 
A  log  schoolhouse,  or  rather  a  vacated  log  dwelling,  near  the  residence  of  Will-' 
iam  Anderson,  was  devoted  to  the  uses  of  education  as  early  as  1839.  It  was 
displaced  a  few  years  later  by  a  frame  house  located  at  Mr.  Anderson's  orchard. 
This  was  used  until  about  twenty -four  years  ago,  when  the  large  district  was 
divided,  and  two  houses  were  built.  One  of  these  is  yet  standing.  The  other 
was  destroyed  by  fire,  and  a  better  one  has  taken  its  place.  In  1836,  a  log 
schoolhouse  was  built  near  the  cemetery,  at  what  was  then  known  as  Gale's 
Corners.  This  was  perhaps  the  first  real  school  building  in  the  township.  The 
house  was  well  attended  for  many  years,  good  teachers  being  employed.  Fami- 
lies living  on  the  southern  half  of  Pretty  Prairie  sent  their  children  to  this 
house.  During  the  winter  of  1836-37,  Otis  Shepardson,  Jr.,  taught  a  term  in 
a  vacant  dwelling,  located  near  Samuel  Parham's  orchard,  the  house  having 
been  abandoned  by  a  Mr.  Switzer.  The  following  families  sent  to  him :  Nor- 
ton, Llttlefield,  Smith,  Miller,  Howard,  Waite  and  others.  In  about  the  year 
1838,  a  frame  schoolhouse  was  built  at  the  northern  extremity  of  Pretty  Prai- 
rie, the  first  teacher  being  Willis  R.  Jervis.  This  neighborhood  soon  had  an 
excellent  school.  After  the  old  house  had  been  used  many  years,  the  district 
was  divided  in  spite  of  bitter  opposition  on  the  part  of  some,  and  two  houses 
were  built,  both  being  used  until  five  or  six  years  ago,  when  each  district  was 
supplied  with  a  fine  brick  structure.  The  township  was  at  first  (about  the  year 
1833)  divided  into  two  school  districts  ;  butthe  dividing  line  is  not  remembered. 
In  1837,  another  district  was  added,  and  a  little  later  still  another.  School 
was  taught  as  early  as  1840  in  a  vacated  dwelling  near  the  residence  of  Benja- 
min Reed,  the  house  being  used  a  number  of  years.  Finally,  in  1845,  the 
"Scripture  Schoolhouse"  was  erected.  A  little  later  another  house  was  built 
farther  east  on  the  same  road.  The  first  schoolhouse  in  the  northeastern  part 
was  built  in  about  the  year  1840.  It  has  been  succeeded  by  several  others. 
The  house  two  miles  west  of  it  was  built  later. 


GREENFIELD    TOWNSHIP.  231 

In  1840,  a  great  revival  was  held  at  the  Pretty  Prairie  Schoolhouse  by 
Rev.  Messrs.  Posey  and  Lewis  L.  Allen,  ministers  of  the  M.  E.  denomination. 
A  few  meetings  had  been  held  before,  but  no  excitement  was  created  nor  class 
formed.  The  revival  began,  Rev.  Posey  preaching  in  the  morning  and  Rev. 
Allen  in  the  evening.  Sinners  were  stubborn  and  defiant,  and,  for  a  time,  it  was 
hard  work  for  the  ministers.  At  last  two  men  living  in  the  neighborhood,  who 
had  stubbornly  resisted  the  overtures  of  mercy-,  were  taken  violently  sick  and 
both  died  within  a  few  days  of  each  other,  one  declaring  on  his  death-bed  that 
he  was  going  to  hell  and  the  other  that  he  expected  to  reach  heaven,  blessing 
his  family  in  the  moment  of  parting  and  advising  them  to  seek  salvation.  The 
two  ministers,  Posey  and  Allen,  were  present  to  comfort  the  dying  men  with 
the  consolations  of  religion.  The  circumstances  connected  with  the  death  of 
the  two  men  produced  a  profound  sensation  in  the  neighborhood,  of  which  the 
ministers  immediately  took  advantage.  The  result  was  the  most  successful  re- 
vival ever  held  in  the  township.  Some  sixty  were  converted  and  seventy-five 
joined  the  society  that  was  then  organized.  Meetings  were  held  in  the  school- 
house  until  1856,  when  the  frame  church  was  built  at  a  cost  of  about  $800. 
Rev.  Posey  was  the  first  minister  in  charge,  Rev.  Enoch  Holstock  the  second, 
Gehiel  Hart  the  third.  The  church  Avas  built  by  subscription,  the  location 
depending  upon  the  greatest  amount  subscribed.  Those  east  of  the  church 
gave  the  most,  and  selected  the  spot  where  the  church  now  stands.  The  society 
has  not  since  been  as  strong  as  it  was  at  first.  Only  a  portion  of  the  time  has 
Sunday  school  been  conducted. 

The  Presbyterians  commenced  building  a  frame  church  at  Gale's  Corners 
in  1837,  but  did  not  finish  until  the  following  year.  Rev.  Christopher  Cory, 
an  excellent  man  and  an  earnest  Christian,  who  made  himself  known  for  miles 
through  the  backwoods,  organized  the  society  with  the  following  membership : 
Orrin  Howard,  Aaron  Cary,  Aaron  Thompson,  Jonathan  Upson,  Amasa  Nor- 
ton, wife  and  daughter,  Osias  Littlefield,  Ansel  Dickinson,  Jacob  Vandeventer, 
Samuel  Brown  and  family,  and  others.  Good  work  was  done  by  the  society, 
but  it  became  so  weak,  in  about  1853,  that  it  finally  agreed  to  turn  the  house 
over  to  the  use  of  other  Christian  denominations  and  have  it  moved  to  Lexing- 
ton. This  was  at  last  done.  The  Methodists  obtained  such  a  control  of  it,* 
after  a  time,  that  a  law-suit  resulted;  but  they  lost  the  judgment,  and  the 
house  is  devoted  to  the  same  uses  as  before  the  suit.  The  Spiritualists  have 
occupied  it,  under  protest  of  the  more  orthodox  denominations. 

The  "Community  of  Saints,"  under  the  leadership  of  Rev.  Samuel  Brad- 
ford, held  meetings  in  the  schoolhouse  at  Lexington  for  a  series  of  years.  Mr. 
Bradford  was  a  man  of  great  personal  magnetism,  with  noble  ideas  of  life  and 
its  duties,  and  with  an  incorruptible  integrity  of  purpose  that  gave  a  serious 
feature  to  everything  he  did.  His  meetings  were  always  well  attended.  His 
death,  in  1844,  ended  the  life  of  a  truly  great  man.  His  society  died  with 
him.     The  Congregational  Brethren  have  a  small  class  in  the  village  at  pres- 


232  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

ent.  Some  six  or  eight  years  ago,  the  Amish  built  a  small  frame  church  in 
the  northwestern  part,  at  a  cost  of  about  $900,  A  small  society  gathers  there 
to  worship. 

In  about  1850,  Elder  Jacob  Berkey  organized  a  German  Baptist  society 
in  the  neighborhood  southwest  of  Lexington.  Meetings  were  held  at  residences 
and  schoolhouses  until  ten  years  ago  (1872),  when  a  large  frame  church  was 
erected,  at  a  cost  of  $2,500,  the  building  being  completed  a  year  later.  The 
society  first  started  with  about  forty  members  and  was  then  scattered  over  a 
territory  that  has  since  been  divided  into  four  society  districts.  In  1863,  the 
organization  comprised  about  one  hundred  members.  Elder  Berkey  remained 
Pastor  until  about  1860,  when  Elder  George  Long  succeeded  him,  continuing 
nine  years,  at  the  end  of  which  time  the  society,  for  a  few  years,  was  without  a 
regular  Elder,  though  Rev.  Peter  Long  was  in  charge.  Elder  David  M.  Truby 
assumed  the  pastorate  in  1874,  remaining  until  1880.  when  the  present  min- 
ister. Elder  Peter  Long,  succeeded  him.  The  present  membership  is  about  144. 
A  Sunday  school  was  conducted  three  years,  beginning  some  five  years  ago. 
Short-lived  societies  of  other  religious  denominations  have  been  organized  in 
the  township. 

There  are  many  Spiritualists  in  Greenfield.  The  subject  was  first  devel- 
oped, in  about  1850,  by  the  celebrated  Fox  sisters,  of  near  Rochester,  N.  Y., 
and  others,  who  announced  to  the  world  that  the  spirits  of  the  departed  could 
be  communicated  with  through  "mediums."  The  success  of  their  operations 
soon  became  known  in  Greenfield,  and  many  were  convinced  of  the  truth  of 
their  pretensions.  Gossip  was  indulged  in,  until  finally  a  medium  from  abroad 
came  into  the  neighborhood  and  gave  a  public  exhibition  of  the  truth  of  his 
opinions.  Many  were  converted  to  the  new  faith  and,  although  no  written  creed 
was  adopted,  yet  a  society  was  partially  formed,  and  "circles"  met  regularly 
at  residences  and  schoolhouses.  Several  interesting  "mediums"  were  soon 
discovered  in  the  neighborhood.  Mrs.  (Barr)  Hopkins  proved  to  be  a  "divin- 
ing medium."  Others  were  "rapping"  or  "writing"  or  "healing  mediums." 
The  Barrs,  the  Hopkinses,  the  Gillums,  the  Herns  and  others  were  prominent  in 
the  new  organization.  They  finally  began  to  meet  in  the  church  at  Lexington, 
\7hich  had  been  intended  for  any  religious  denomination;  but  they  met  consid- 
erable opposition,  though  they  were  successful  in  having  their  right  to  the 
church  established.  They  then  held  rousing  meetings  in  the  church,  securing 
persons  from  abroad  well  qualified  to  present  their  faith,  practically  and  theo- 
retically, to  large  audiences.  Many  converts  were  thus  gained.  It  is  only 
within  the  last  few  years  that  the  early  interest  has  declined. 


a. 


/^(^^V.t^-<^ 


NEWBURY    TP. 


CHAPTER     XIV. 

by  r.  h.  rerick. 

Newbury  Township— First  Election  and  Officers— Early  Physical  Feat- 
ures, Lakes,  Indians,  Etc.— The  First  Settler  and  His  Successors- 
Mills  AND  Towns— Forest  Customs  — The  Amish— Their  Customs, 
Churches,  Schools,  Etc — General  Development, 

THE  township  received  its  name,  not  in  honor  of  any  personage,  but  to 
distinguish  it  from  the  older  town  of  Middlebury,  in  Elkhart  County, 
which  it  adjoins.  This  was  the  borough,  and  Newbury  it  has  remained.  The 
name  was  given  at  the  first  town  meeting.  The  township  was  a  part  of  Lima, 
and  was  separated  and  given  a  distinct  organization  in  1837.  On  April  3,  of 
this  year,  the  settlers  held  their  first  election,  at  the  house  of  Truman  Wilkin- 
son. It  was  difficult  to  get  together  a  good  show  of  voters,  and  the  canvassing 
was  as  thorough  as  at  some  modern  elections.  If  there  was  any  law  then  re- 
quiring a  long  residence  in  the  township,  it  was  probably  accidentally  forgotten 
that  day.  The  workmen  on  the  Shipshewana  Mills  were  taken  to  the  polls, 
whether  or  no.  By  this  means  a  poll-book  of  thirteen  voters  was  made.  There 
were  just  about  enough  oflSces  to  go  around,  and  the  list  contains  the 
names  of  most  of  the  adult  male  settlers.  Daniel  H.  Keasy  and  Elijah  West 
acted  as  Clerks  ;  Amos  Davis  and  James  Cotton,  Judges  ;  and  Truman  Wilkin- 
son, Inspector.  When  their  laborious  duties  had  been  performed,  it  was  found 
that  the  following  were  the  first  officers  :  Amos  Davis,  Justice ;  Willard  Cot- 
ton, Constable;  Elijah  West,  Inspector;  Esick  Green,  Supervisor;  George  Lot- 
terer  and  Elijah  West,  Overseers  of  Poor;  Franklin  Goodenough  and  George 
Hilt,  Road  Viewers.  The  vote  was  unanimous.  The  first  official  act  of  the 
new  Justice  was  to  solemnize  a  marriage  between  Esick  Green  and  Miss 
Hackett,  a  member  of  the  Wilkinson  family.  It  was  not  the  officer's  fault, 
but,  for  some  lack  of  affinity,  the  newly-married  couple  soon  separated. 

The  earliest  comers  sought  two  places  mainly — the  beautiful  country  about 
Shipshewana  Lake,  in  the  north,  and  the  forks  of  the  Little  Elkhart  River  in 
the  southwest.  The  east  part  of  the  township  was  in  great  part  covered  by 
marshes,  and  was  not  so  desirable.  The  country  was  densely  wooded,  as  a  gen- 
eral thing,  but  there  were  large  tracts  of  openings.  An  idea,  however,  pre- 
vailed among  many  of  the  pioneers,  who  were  largely  of  Southern  birth,  that 
the  openings  were  unhealthful,  and  the  woods  were  consequently  in  favor. 
There  were  also  marsh  lands  along  the  little  streams  which  supplied  the  Little 
Elkhart,  which  flows,  in  two  branches,  through  the  southwest  corner,  A 
diagonal  line  through  the  township,  from  northwest  to  southeast,  is  about  the 
position  of  the  ridge  which  divides  the  drainage  of  the  Pigeon  River  from  that 
of  the  Elkhart.  Cass  Lake,'  about  twenty  acres  in  extent,  on  the  northern 
line,  and  Hood's,  a  small  body  in  the  east,  are  drained  into  the  Elkhart,  while 


234  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

the  beautiful  Shipshewana,  one  of  the  largest  lakes  in  the  county,  and  Cotton 
Lake,  a  smaller  one,  have  their  outlet  in  Shipshewana  Creek.  Cotton, 
Hood  and  Cass  Lakes  commemorate  the  names  of  the  earliest  settlers  near 
them,  and  Shipshewana,  the  Pottawatomie  chieftain,  whose  is  said  to  be  buried 
somewhere  on  the  banks  of  the  lake.  A  lady,  now  deceased,  claimed  to  know 
the  place  of  his  grave,  but  the  secret  has  been  lost  with  her  death.  The  old 
chief  died  some  time  prior  to  the  settlement.  His  tribe  inhabited  the  township, 
and  their  deeply  cut  trails  ran  through  the  woods,  taking  the  best  courses,  and 
never  missing  the  beaver  dams,  in  every  direction,  so  that  the  settlers  had  to 
blaze  their  road  in  order  not  to  wander  off  on  the  wrong  track.  The  red  men 
hunted  amicably  with  the  whites,  and  would  come  back  even  after  their  re- 
moval to  exchange  venison  and  cranberries  for  the  pioneers'  extra  potatoes 
and  flour.  Game  was  plentiful — deer  and  turkeys  and  bears.  Bees  were  es- 
pecially numerous,  and  one  hunter  cut  as  many  as  sixteen  nests  in  one  day. 
The  earliest  settlers  came  to  the  forks  of  the  Little  Elkhart,  and  this  was  also 
the  starting  point  of  the  second  settlement  by  the  German  people,  who  now 
almost  entirely  occupy  the  township.  The  first  comers  were  the  Woodbridges, 
who  "squatted"  in  Section  19,  about  1831.  This  was  before  the  land  was 
for  sale,  and  there  is  no  record  of  their  names  or  later  history.  They  soon 
moved  away,  and  their  cabin  was  old  and  deserted  when  the  later  settlers 
moved  in.  The  land  was  not  open  to  entry  until  much  later,  and  the  first  cer- 
tificate issued  was  to  Obadiah  Lawrence,  dated  July  17,  1835. 

In  the  north,  a  Mr.  Andrews  and  Elijah  West  came  in  in  1834,  and  the 
next  year  built  a  dam  and  race  and  saw-mill  on  Shipshewana  Creek,  near  the 
center  of  Section  3.  Mr.  Andrews  died  August  24,  1835,  the  first  death 
among  the  pioneers.  His  son,  Jarius  Andrews,  lived  in  the  township  until  his 
decease  in  1879.  West,  the  partner,  soon  moved  West.  This  mill  was  in  oper- 
ation several  years,  and  the  damming  up  of  the  waters  was  thought  to  be  the 
cause  of  much  illness  in  early  times,  on  account  of  its  overflowing  the  lake. 
The  dam  was  finally  torn  down,  and  the  mill  went  to  pieces.  A  log  house  in  a 
grove  near  by,  which  forms  a  contrast  with  the  fine  residences  in  the  vicinity, 
probably  contains  some  of  the  logs  of  these  old  buildings.  A  little  later,  a 
number  of  settlers  entered  their  lands.  In  1836,  Amos  Davis,  one  of  the  most 
prominent  men  in  the  early  history  of  the  county,  came  to  the  Woodbridge 
place.  He  had  already  entered  land,  in  1835,  in  Section  19.  He  built  the 
second  saw-mill  in  the  township  on  the  river  here. 

Esick  Green,  who  remained  about  twenty  years,  and  Truman  Wilkinson, 
who  lived  here  until  his  death  in  1857,  brothers-in-law,  settled  about  1836. 
Hiram  Wilkinson  settled  at  the  same  time,  but  soon  left.  Charles  Barron  was 
another  pioneer.  Wilkinson  was  the  neighborhood  poet  and  lampooner  in  the 
early  days.  Some  of  his  efi"usions  are  still  remembered,  and  we  are  able  to 
give  part  of  one,  occasioned  by  the  tragical  girdling  of  an  oak  in  front  of  John 
Keightley's  house,  against  Mr.  K.'s  wishes.     The  oak  sings: 


NEWBURY    TOWNSHIP.  235 

"  Here  once  I  stood  a  handsome  oak, 
This  is  the  first  I  ever  spoke. 
My  kindred  oaks  shall  live  instead, 
While  I  am  numbered  with  the  dead. 
Here  once  I  stood,  a  noble  tree, 
Till  Sam  and  Charlie  girdled  me." 

Another  couplet  was  of  an  epitaph  nature  : 

"  The  devil,  with  old  snaps  and  snarls. 
Dragged  off  to  h — 1  poor  Sam  and  Charles." 

Franklin  J.  Goodenough  entered  land  in  Section  7,  and  built  the  first 
frame  barn  in  the  township.  Almon  Lawrence,  who  had  come  to  Van  Buren 
in  1830,  and  Alexander  W.  Poynter,  of  Delaware,  Alexander  Berry,  of  Ohio, 
and  his  sons — Samuel,  Conrad  and  Doomide — were  early  settlers  in  the  neigh- 
borhood of  the  site  of  the  Dunkard  Church.  Other  early  settlers  were  Garrett 
and  Griffith  Shrake,  Warren  Stiles,  James  Cotton,  a  carpenter,  who  gave  his 
name  to  Cotton  Lake,  and  Samuel  Hood,  who  is  similarly  honored.  Joseph 
Keasy,  later  of  St.  Joseph  County,  Ind.,  came,  in  1836,  from  Fulton 
County,  Ohio.  It  was  on  his  farm,  at  the  house  of  Joseph  Nelson,  that  the 
first  church  was  organized  in  the  fall  of  1837.  by  a  Methodist  evangelist,  who 
used  to  go  about  on  foot  among  the  settlers,  doing  good.  This  pioneer  preacher 
had  the  simple  name  of  Brown,  but  from  his  residence  received  the  euphonious 
title  of  "  Bald  Hill  "  Brown.  He  went  from  here  to  a  more  arduous  field — to 
Texas.  Joseph  Nelson  was  the  class-leader  of  this  little  organization,  which 
had  about  nine  members  at  starting.  James  Latta,  of  the  Haw  Patch,  and 
Christopher  Cory,  were  among  the  early  preachers.  In  those  days,  families 
would  walk  three  or  four  miles  for  a  sermon,  and  find  their  way  home  by  the 
light  of  a  clapboard  torch. 

In  February,  1837,  George  Lotterer  took  possession  of  land,  including 
that  owned  at  present  by  Horatio  Halbert,  on  Shipshewana  Lake,  where  he 
laid  out  a  village  called  Georgetown,  which  never  grew  beyond  the  paper.  Mr. 
Lotterer  was  then  the  richest  man  in  Newbury,  and  had  just  previously  owned 
the  plat  of  Ontario.  He  remained  in  the  township  until  about  eight  years 
since,  when  he  removed  to  Fort  Scott,  Kan. 

John  Keightly  and  Peter  N.  Keightly  moved  upon  their  land  near  Ship- 
shewana Lake  in  the  fall  of  1836.  The  latter  soon  moved  into  Van  Buren, 
but  the  former  is  still  an  honored  citizen  of  this  township.  Mr.  K.  came  from 
England,  in  1828,  to  Tompkins  County,  N.  Y.,  married  Miss  M.  A.  Winter  in 
1830,  and  started  for  Indiana  in  November,  1836.  The  journey  was  a  sample 
of  that  which  the  patient  pioneer  went  through — a  day's  journey  eight  or  ten 
miles,  deep  mud  in  what  were  called  the  roads,  no  bridges  but  crossways  of  logs, 
and  these  sometimes  almost  washed  away  by  floods.  Soon  after  Mr.  Keightly 
had  built  a  house,  it  was  burned,  probably  by  an  incendiary,  and  some  $1,500 
in  money,  lying  in  the  house,  was  never  seen  again  by  the  owner.  Such  was 
life  in  the  good  old  days,  full  of  hardship  and  disappointment,  in  great  contrast 


236  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

with  the  comfort  of  the  present.  A  schoolhouse,  in  which  religious  services 
were  held,  was  built  on  the  northeast  corner  of  Mr.  K.'s  land,  where  a  grave- 
yard is  situated.  Methodist  meetings  were  also  held  at  his  residence,  where 
among  other  attendants  were  George  and  Melicent  Winter,  brothers-in-law  of 
the  Keightlys,  who  came  in  with  them  from  Tompkins  County,  N.  Y.,  in  1836. 
George  Winter  was  born  in  Lincolnshire,  England,  and  died  in  Newbury  in 
1868.  His  wife  had  died  in  1854.  His  son,  Wrinch  Winter,  who  was  only 
eight  years  old  on  moving  here,  now  occupies  a  finely  situated  residence  on  the 
old  homestead,  in  view  of  Shipshewana  Lake.  Among  other  early  settlers, 
Peter  Schermerhorn  entered  land  in  Section  5,  and  died  north  of  the  Yoder 
settlement.  In  1845,  Francis  Lampman,  of  Oswego  County,  N.  Y.,  settled  in 
northwest  Newbury.  He  remained  upon  the  farm  until  1864,  when  he 
removed  to  Lima,  where  he  was  still  living  in  1881,  at  the  age  of  eighty-three. 
Among  the  later  comers  in  the  northeast  is  Elias  Wight,  who  came  from  Ohio 
in  1854,  and  lives  upon  Section  3.  Mr.  Wight  was  elected  County  Commis- 
sioner in  1879. 

The  trading  of  the  early  days  was  done  mostly  at  White  Pigeon  and  Mid- 
dlebury.  Some  hauling  was  done  from  more  distant  points.  In  1837,  Amos 
Davis  brought  through  flour  and  goods  from  Michigan  City  to  Lima  with  five 
yokes  of  oxen.  La  Grange,  then,  was  unborn,  and  the  country  to  Middlebury 
was  almost  impassable,  except  on  foot.  On  the  White  Pigeon  trail  there  were 
but  two  houses.  In  1833,  a  road  was  run  through  from  Lima  to  Goshen  by  John 
Kromer,  and  this  was  the  only  one  until  1836,  when  a  party  went  through  the 
township  eastward,  running  the  Baubaga  road  to  the  future  county  seat.  Amos 
Davis,  about  1840,  surveyed  three  roads — the  Middlebury  and  Haw  Patch, 
which  follows  the  course  of  the  main  branch  of  the  Little  Elkhart,  the  Middle- 
bury road  to  intersect  the  Goshen  road,  and  the  White  Pigeon  and  Ligonier  road. 

The  first  schoolhouse  was  put  up  on  the  farm  of  Joseph  Keasy,  on  Section 
19.  The  house  was  of  unsquared  logs,  with  a  low  roof,  and  densely-shaded  in 
a  little  opening  in  the  forest.  The  first  teacher  was  Miss  Mary  Pomeroy.  The 
teachers  were  not  heavily  paid  in  the  early  days.  The  ladies  would  get  as 
low  as  $1.25  and  up  to  $2  a  week  in  the  summer  schools.  There  was  quite  a 
discussion  at  first  about  how  long  school  should  be  kept.  That  it  should  be 
nine  hours  a  day  was  agreed,  but  some  were  of  the  opinion  and  some  not,  that 
for  the  munificent  wages  school  should  be  taught  six  days  in  the  week.  The 
second  schoolhouse  was  a  log  one,  on  Section  20,  built  in  1840,  and  the  third 
on  Section  9,  about  1842. 

Besides  the  early  preaching  already  mentioned,  a  Presbyterian  society  met 
at  Forest  Grove,  southwest  of  Davis'  mill,  and  the  United  Brethren  and  Free- 
Will  Baptists  had  meetings  occasionally  in  various  places.  All  these  small 
societies  worked  together  for  the  common  good.  At  present  the  Methodist 
meeting  place  is  Shipshewana  Schoolhouse,  included  in  the  Middlebury  Circuit, 
now  under  charge  of  Rev.  John  T.  Blakemore. 


^2/L^  ^  0^^^ 


NEWBURY  TP. 


NEA¥BURY    TOWNSHIP.  239 

In  1838,  Newbury  experienced  its  share  of  the  ague  and  bilious  fever. 
Like  the  rain  of  that  spring,  it  fell  on  all  alike,  and  like  the  drought  of  the 
fall  it  had  no  intermission.  Drs.  Latta,  of  Goshen,  and  Elliott,  of  Middlebury, 
would  call  about  twice  a  week  upon  the  unfortunate  shakers.  There  was  quite 
a  mortality  among  the  young  on  account  of  the  fever. 

The  hopes  of  the  settlers  were  raised  to  a  considerable  height  by  the  talk 
in  an  early  day  of  the  Buffalo  &  Mississippi  Railroad,  and  deeply  sunk  by  its 
failure.  The  road  was  surveyed  through  the  northern  part  of  the  township. 
The  same  experience  was  repeated  by  a  preliminary  survey  of  the  Baltimore  & 
Ohio  road  in  later  years. 

In  1839,  Amos  Davis  was  chosen  an  Associate  Judge  for  the  county,  and 
held  the  position  until  the  abolition  of  the  office,  sitting  on  the  bench  with 
Judges  Hobbs  and  Spaulding. 

Mr.  Davis  was  born  in  Loudon  County,  Va.,  in  1797.  When  yet  a  boy, 
he  went  to  Ohio,  where  his  parents  settled  in  Fairfield  County.  He  was  a  man 
of  ability  and  energy.  Mr.  Davis  represented  La  Grange  and  Elkhart  Counties 
in  the  Legislature  in  1862-64,  and  was  active  on  the  side  of  the  war  party  in 
the  struggle  between  Gov.  Morton  and  the  majority  of  the  Legislature.  He 
removed  to  Greenfield  Mills,  and  died  October  5,  1867,  from  the  effects  of  an 
injury  received  on  his  seventieth  birthday.  His  son,  Hezekiah  Davis,  was 
eleven  years  of  age  when  he  first  saw  Newbury,  and  has  ever  since  remained 
here.  He  has  served  the  county  as  Commissioner  for  thirteen  years,  beginning 
in  1853.  In  1848,  he  moved  to  his  present  commodious  residence  in  Section  2, 
which  is  a  portion  of  his  farm.  Newbury  has  always  been  remarkable  for  its 
quietness  and  freedom  from  crime.  Of  course,  there  has  been  a  law-suit  now 
and  then,  but,  as  a  rule,  she  furnishes  little  litigation.  The  first  law-suit  in  the 
township  was  before  Justice  Davis,  and  between  Sylvanus  Lamb  and  Charles 
Hascall  over  a  difficulty  in  the  division  of  land.  This  called  in  lawyers — 
Mitchell,  of  Constantine,  and  Chamberlain,  of  Goshen.  No  causes  celehres  have 
come  from  Newbury  since  that  time.  Especially  since  the  Amish  and  other 
German  sects  have  taken  up  the  most  of  the  township  has  everything  been 
peaceful.  There  was  once  a  case  of  horse-thieving  which  caused  considerable 
sensation.  Three  horses  were  stolen  in  1855,  or  thereabouts,  and  taken  to 
Pennsylvania,  whence  the  owner  received  them  after  expending  much  more 
than  their  value  in  the  search. 

As  far  as  the  records  show,  the  following  is  a  list  of  the  Justices  of  New- 
bury :  Amos  Davis,  1837-42  ;  Andrew  Ashbaugh,  1842-47  ;  Alexander  W. 
Poynter,  1845-50  ;  Perley  R.  Cady,  1852-57  ;  John  Butt,  1859-71  ;  Ben- 
jamin F.  Lieb,  1856-60  ;  Oliver  Lampman,  1859-67  ;  Jacob  Hines,  1863-69  ; 
H.  J.  Vandorsten,  1869-73  ;  William  Wiler,  1873-75  ;  Horatio  Halbert,  1875- 
84  ;  Michael  Hoff,  1880-84.  At  the  census  of  1880,  there  were  found  to  be 
the  following  named  persons,  residents  of  the  township,  who  were  over  seventy- 
five  years  of  age :     Horatio  Halbert,  seventy-seven  ;  George  Miller,  eighty- 


240  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

five ;    Joel   Yoder,   eighty ;    Fannie   Miller,   eighty-three  ;    Frances   Walter, 
eighty- four. 

In  1844,  an  event  of  great  importance  was  the  first  settlement  of  mem- 
bers of  the  Amish  Church,  in  the  southwest  portion  of  the  township.  Daniel 
and  Joseph  Miller  came  on  horseback  to  Davis'  place,  on  a  prospecting  tour, 
out  two  months  from  Somerset  County,  Penn.  They  stopped  here  and  bought 
farms,  Daniel  Miller  taking  the  old  Woodbridge  place.  Soon  after,  Christian 
Bontrager  and  Joseph  Bontrager  bought  farms  in  Sections  19  and  20.  This 
was  the  beginning  of  an  inflow  of  Germans  from  Pennsylvania,  at  first,  and 
later  from  Holmes  County,  Ohio.  Emanuel  Miller,  who  bought  land  in  Sec- 
tion 29,  and  Philip  Weirick  were  also  among  the  earliest  settlers.  John  C. 
Yoder,  familiarly  called  the  doctor,  on  account  of  his  skill  in  healing  some  of 
the  human  ills,  came  in  November,  1844,  from  Somerset  County,  where  he  was 
born  in  1821.  He  still  resides  upon  his  farm  near  the  Moses  Kaufman  mill- 
race  (1849),  on  the  Little  Elkhart,  and  is  a  patriarch  among  the  original  Amish. 
This  branch  of  the  church,  which  is  distinguished  by  a  strict  observance  of  all 
the  old  customs,  has  a  large  membership  among  the  Germans,  who  now  occupy 
almost  the  whole  of  Newbury.  There  are  three  districts  of  the  old  school  in 
the  township,  the  southern  one  having,  in  1881,  161  members,  the  western 
100,  and  the  northern,  including  part  of  Van  Buren,  about  one  hundred  and 
twenty.  Each  district  has  its  Bishop  and  two  ministers.  The  Bishop  alone 
can  perform  the  rites  of  baptism  and  marriage.  At  present  this  position  is 
held  by  Dr.  Yoder  and  David  Kaufman.  The  peculiar  characteristic  of  the 
church  is  a  literal  observance  of  every  injunction  of  the  Scriptures,  as  they 
understand  them.  There  are  no  meeting-houses,  but  they  meet  at  the  homes 
of  the  members  ;  no  written  creed  is  used  by  the  church  ;  the  apostolic  rite  of 
feet- washing  is  observed  at  the  meetings.  But  the  most  obvious  characteristic 
is  that  no  ornament  of  any  kind  is  tolerated  on  the  person,  nor  in  the  way  of 
paint  or  plaster  in  the  houses,  nor  any  brilliant  coloring  about  the  buildings. 
The  natuBal  grace  and  beauty  of  the  person  is  altogether  unthought  of,  or  only 
considered  as  a  snare  of  the  evil  one.  As  no  conformity  to  the  world  is  al- 
lowed, something  like  a  German  peasant  costume  is  still  used,  and  as  buttons 
are  under  the  ban,  hooks  and  eyes  supply  the  necessary  fastenings.  Lightning 
rods  were  for  some  time  forbidden.  As  for  literature,  there  is  nothing  in 
much  favor  but  the  sacred  Scriptures.  The  Amish  seem  to  conform  their 
social  lives  especially  to  Paul's  instructions  to  the  Corinthians,  and  renounce 
the  world,  even  to  the  extent  of  casting  out  from  among  themselves  all  who 
have  worldly  failings.  In  avoiding  the  world,  politics,  of  course,  is  somewhat 
neglected,  but  more  formerly  than  of  late.  German  is  also  spoken  continually 
in  their  home  life,  and  this  is  another  "tie,"  and  distinction  from  the  "world." 
A  marked  degree  of  morality  pervades  this  people.  The  children  are  edu- 
cated to  read  and  write  well,  but  higher  studies  are  considered  useless.  Finan- 
cially they  are  prudent,  frugal  and  -successful,  and  allow  none  of  their  mem- 


NEWBURY    TOWNSHIP.  241 

hers  to  depend  upon  the  county  for  support.  Besides  this  home  charity,  for- 
eign charities  are  well  contributed  to.  In  many  of  these  particulars,  the  other 
German  societies  agree  with  the  Old  Amish.  There  are  four  branches  of  the 
church  in  this  township.  The  other  leading  one  is  the  New  Amish,  which  is 
about  twenty-five  years  old,  and  has  about  two  hundred  members.  It  has  but 
one  meeting-place,  a  frame  church,  erected  in  1863,  at  the  Forks,  which  cost 
some  $600,  and  seats  500  persons.  In  1881,  Jonas  Troyer  was  the  Bishop, 
with  four  subordinate  preachers — Emanual  Hostettler,  Seth  Troyer,  Christian 
S.  Plank  and  Christian  Miller.  The  new  church  believes  in  going  into  the 
water  for  baptism,  while  the  old  adheres  to  sprinkling  on  dry  land.  There  is 
also  no  rule  in  regard  to  clothing,  and  more  freedom  in  customs.  The  Men- 
nouite  Church  resembles  the  Amish,  being,  in  fact,  the  original  from  which  the 
Amish  sprang,  and  a  union  between  them  is  not  unlikely.  The  Mennonitos 
have  a  church  upon  the  Baubaga  road,  at  Lake  Shore,  which  was  erected  in 
the  fall  of  1874. 

The  German  Baptist  Church,  or  "Dunkers,"  has  a  large  following  in 
this  township.  The  earliest  efforts  of  the  church  were  in  1854,  when  meetings 
were  begun  in  the  Poynter  Schoolhouse.  In  1857,  the  church  was  partly  or- 
ganized, and  Samuel  Doney  and  Samuel  Lupoid  appointed  deacons.  Samuel 
Lupoid  has  remained  one  of  the  ministers  and  elders  till  the  present.  David 
Evans  and  Benjamin  Leer  have  also  served  as  ministers.  At  the  present  time, 
David  M.  Truby  is  elder  of  the  district,  including  Newbury,  and  Benjamin 
Leer  minister  of  the  Shipshewana  Church.  On  Christmas,  1874,  this  society 
dedicated  a  frame  church,  on  the  land  of  Samuel  Lupoid,  which  is  valued  at 
^700.  Regular  meetings  are  held  here  fortnightly,  and  a  Sunday  school  at 
the  Marsh  Schoolhouse.     The  membership  of  the  church  is  about  ninety. 

The  post  oflSce  of  Pashan  was  established  in  1844,  and  was  kept  at 
the  house  of  Amos  Davis  until  his  removal,  when  it  was  discontinued.  In 
1872,  it  was  re-established  at  a  small  settlement  north  of  the  Baubaga  road, 
near  the  center  of  the  township.  This  little  "burg,"  in  1881,  is  in  possession 
of  one  business  house,  a  store,  kept  by  Harmon  Stutsman,  who  is  also  Deputy 
Postmaster ;  the  chief  in  this  department  is  Dr.  Myers,  the  resident  physicisvi. 
These,  with  the  smithy,  make  up  the  business  part  of  the  settlement.  In  1881, 
a  post  office  was  established  at  the  neighborhood  called  Lake  Shore,  near  Hood 
Lake,  and  the  official  name  of  the  post  office  is  Shore.  It,  as  well  as  Pashan 
and  Emma,  lies  on  the  mail  route  between  Goshen  and  La  Grange.  In  1881, 
the  neighborhood  contained  about  twelve  families.  Dr.  W.  H.  Shrock,  who 
has  been  here  four  years  in  the  practice  of  medicine,  holds  the  position  of 
Postmaster.  The  omnipresent  blacksmith  shops  are  owned  by  Benedict  Miller 
and  Jacob  Lupoid.  Amos  Walters,  who  has  been  a  resident  for  many  years, 
owns  a  steam  saw-mill  which  was  built  here  about  1870,  by  Charles  and  Mon- 
roe Atwater,  and  does  an  extensive  business  in  lumbering.  A  schoolhouse  and 
the  Mennonite  Church  are  on  the  shore  of  the  lake.  In  the  southeast  corner  of 


242  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

the  township  is  the  settlement  and  post  office,  now  called  Emma  ;  formerly  the 
place  was  known  as  Eden  Mills,  but  went  down  under  that  title.  The  saw- 
mill here  is  within  Newbury,  and  is  owned  by  Joseph  Schrock.  Jacob  and 
Andrew  Hostettler  are  the  proprietors  of  a  store,  and  the  former  attends  to  the 
United  States  mail. 


CHAPTER     XV. 

BY  WESTON  A.  GOODSPEED. 

MiLFORD  Township— Long  List  or  Pioneers— Conjectures  as  to  the  First 
Settler— First  Township  Election— A  Backwoods  Burial— Hunting  Ex- 
periences—The  Regulators— The  L'ntjerground  Railroad— Mud  Cor- 
ners AND  South  Milford— The  Educator  and  the  Moralist— Manufact- 
uring Interests. 

THE  greater  portion  of  the  surface  of  Milford  Township  is  extremely  ir- 
regular and  billowy ;  and  to  this  may  be  traced  the  fact  that  the  earliest 
settlers  in  the  county  passed  on  to  land  that  could  be  subjected  to  cultivation 
much  easier,  and  that  would  furnish  a  more  bountiful  crop  for  such  labor. 
While  it  is  mainly  true  that  the  greater  number  of  early  settlers  in  the  northern 
tier  of  townships  came  from  the  older  settled  locality  in  Southern  Michigan,  it  is 
also  true  that  the  greater  number  of  those  in  the  southern  tier  first  came  to  Fort 
Wayne,  and  thence  up  the  Fort  Wayne  and  Lima  road,  along  which  they  en- 
tered their  land.  During  the  years  1836,  1837  and  1838,  a  great  rush  was 
made  into  Milford,  the  greater  number  of  the  following  men  locating  in  the 
township  at  that  period :  J.  W.  Austin,  David  Ackerman,  S.  A.  Bartlett, 
John  Barry,  Jacob  Butts,  Charles  Cope,  Jared  Cook,  Arba  Crane,  Edmund 
Clark,  Perry  Case,  Zopher  Case  (lived  in  Johnson),  William  Cochran,  Harrison 
Dues,  Brinkley  Davis,  Nelson  Earl,  William  Fitch,  Cornelius  Gardiner,  Stiles 
Goodsell,  Isaac  Holly,  John  C.  Lonsbury,  Luther  Nesbit,  John  Nevil,  Stephen 
D.  Palmer,  Gary  P.  Newman,  William  Nevil,  Samuel  Perkins,  Enoch  Perkins, 
Jacob  Perkins,  Amos  Reynolds,  Enos  Randall,  Henry  Randall,  Erastus  Stur- 
gis,  Jacob  Sturgis,  Edward  Shehan,  Lyman  Sherwood,  John  Searls  and  Charles 
Turner.  Some  of  these  men  never  lived  in  the  township,  simply  owning  the 
land,  and  paying  tax  on  the  same,  and  selling  out  at  a  small  profit  at  an  early 
day.  Several  of  the  men  came  in  with  grown-up  families  of  boys,  who  soon 
made  homes  for  themselves,  and  who  are  yet  living  to  recount  their  lives  of  pri- 
vation while  the  township  was  yet  fresh  from  the  hand  of  nature. 

The  first  settler  in  the  township  Avas  probably  Jacob  Butts,  although  the 
year  of  his  arrival  is  not  known.  It  was  likely  as  early  as  1834,  and  perhaps  1833, 
as  he  was  known  to  have  been  in  the  township  during  the  spring  of  1835.  There 
are  some  doubts,  however,  about  his  being  the  first  settler,  as  Richard  Rice,  Will- 
iam Fitch  and  one  or  two  others  were  living  in  the  township  during  the  spring 
of  1835,  and  might  have  been  in  a  year  or  two  before.     The  facts  in  the  case 


^^^"^^/^^  -^/^c^u^ 


M/LfORO  m 


MILFORD    TOWNSHIP.  245 

cannot  be  learned  with  certainty ;  but  it  is  probable  that  the  three  men  men- 
tioned (Jacob  Butts,  Richard  Rice  and  William  Fitch)  came  to  the  township 
some  time  during  the  year  1834.  These  conjectures  will  have  to  answer  until 
some  one  is  found  who  can  satisfactorily  unravel  the  tangle.  It  is  said  that  a 
man  named  Bailey  came  in  with  Mr>  Fitch,  locating  near  him  for  a  time ;  but 
afterward  leaving  for  some  other  place.  Mr.  Butts  was  a  German,  and  re- 
mained^in  the  township  until  the  gold  excitement  broke  out  in  California,  when 

e  joined  the  tide  "of  emigration  westward.  His  daughter  Caroline  was  mar- 
ried to  George  Thompson,  of  Springfield  Township,  in  1835,  by  Rev.  T.  B. 
Conley,  the]^marriage,  so  far  as  known,  being  the  first  in  the  township.     Rich- 

rd  Rice  located  on  Section  3,  where  he  remained  but  a  short  time.  Fitch  and 
Bailey  established  themselves  in  the  southern  part.  The  first  white  child  born 
was  a  daughter  of  Mrs.  Fitch,  but  the  infant  was  feeble  and  soon  died.  This 
was  probably  the  first  death. 

During  the  summer  of  1837,  a  number  of  citizens  of  the  township  peti- 
tioned the  County  Commissioners  to  set  apart  Township  36  north,  Range  11 
east  of  the  Second  Principal  Meridian,  and  constitute  the  same  a  separate  town- 
ship. ,,^In  the  petition  it  was  suggested  that  the  township  be  called  Milford.  In 
accordance  with  this  petition,  the  Commissioners,  in  September  of  the  same 
yearj'ordered  the  creation  of  the  township  Milford,  and  the  first  election  to  be 
held  at  the  residence  of  Samuel  Avis,  who  was  probably  appointed  Inspector. 
Charles  Turner  was  elected  Justice  of  the  Peace,  and  Col.  William  Cochran 
Road  Supervisor.  The  names  of  the  other  ofiicers  elected  are  not  remembered. 
Milford  was'at  first  a  part  of  Greenfield  Township,  but,  after  August,  1834, 
and  prior  to  its  separate  organization  as  stated  above,  it  was  attached  to  Spring- 
field for  election  purposes.  At  this  early  day,  the  three  officers  of  greatest  use 
were  Justice,  Constable  and  Pathmaster.  There  were  no  roads  save  winding 
trails  through  the  woods,  and  about  the  first  thing  the  early  settlers  were  called 
upon  to  do  was  to  assemble  and  place  some  new  highway  in  passable  condition. 
Much  of  the  early  tax  collected  was  devoted  to  the  expense  of  constructing 
roads.  This  gave  great  dignity  to  the  name  of  Supervisor.  Cases  of  assault 
and  battery  were  almost  every  day  occurrences.  It  is  amusing  to  examine  the 
docket  of  some  early  Justice  of  the  Peace,  and  notice  the  fines  that  were 
imposed  for  a  violation  of  the  rights  of  personal  security.  At  almost  every 
rolling  or  raising,  a  bout  at  fisticuffs  took  place,  resulting  in  blue  eyes  and  bloody 
noses,  and  the  subsequent  fine  for  assault.  Everybody  drank  whisky,  not 
necessarily  to  excess,  but  simply  to  realize  the  exhilarating  effects.  It  was 
taken'to  cool  in  hot  weather,  and  to  warm  in  cold  ;  to  drown  sorrow  and  assuage 
the  pain  of  privation  ;  to  assist  digestion  and  strengthen  the  weak.  Mothers 
drank  it|^to[^gain  strength  to  endure ;  children  were  given  it  to  make  them 
healthy  and  strong ;  all  took  it  because  it  was  regarded  as  a  panacea  for  all 
human  disorders,  and  one  of  the  necessaries  of  life.  As  all,  at  times,  were 
under  its  influence,  those  of  quarrelsome  disposition  were    often  engaged  in 


246  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

broils  and  fights  ;  and  then  the  servants  of  the  law  were  required  to  do  their 
duty.  The  Justice  and  the  Constable  were  important  personages  then.  And 
what  a  noise  the  early  pettifoggers  made  !  How  profound  was  their  exposition 
of  the  fundamental  principles  of  law  !  And  then  what  eloquence  !  Then  it  was 
that  every  boy  went  home  resolved  in  his  heart  to  be  a  pettifogger.  Nothing 
short  of  that  would  satiate  his  inordinate  pride  and  ambition. 

The  early  settlers  were  compelled  to  endure  many  hardships  unknown  to 
the  generations  of  to-day.  Stores  and  mills  were  far  distant,  not  only  in 
miles,  but  from  the  fact  that  distances  then,  on  account  of  the  bottomless  roads, 
were  practically  double  what  they  are  at  present.  Many  had  no  team,  some 
had  oxen,  and  a  few  had  horses.  A  good  grist  then  was  a  bagful,  and  a  few 
acres  were  a  large  field.  Families  lived  on  pork,  corn  bread  and  potatoes. 
Other  articles  were  delicacies.  Some  families  were  extremely  destitute.  The 
tax  duplicates  at  the  county  seat  are  filled  with  such  expressions  as  "  Too  poor 
to  pay,"  or  "  Gone  away,"  or  "  Tax  paid  by  Mr.  So-and-so."  This  was  true 
even  when  the  tax  amounted  to  but  50  cents.  It  is  related  that  when  Nathan 
Holly's  second  wife  died,  her  own  son  John  laid  her  out,  and  made  the  rude 
coflSn  with  his  own  hands.  James  Cochran  was  called  upon  for  assistance  at 
the  burial.  He  asked  Evan  Wright  to  accompany  him.  These  two  boys  and 
John  Holly  were  the  only  ones  present  at  the  interment  of  this  pioneer  mother. 
The  poor  woman  had  at  last  found  rest  in  the  embrace  of  death,  and  over  her 
lonely  grave  the  robin  and  the  wren  chirped  their  requiem  of  triumph — a  dirge 
of  rest  to  her  soul.     She  was  buried  in  the  southern  part  of  the  township. 

Of  course  the  woods,  in  early  years,  were  filled  with  wild  game.  Deer  in 
small  herds  were  every-day  sights,  and  those  who  were  accustomed  to  the  use  of 
the  rifle,  and  knew  anything  of  the  habits  of  these  animals,  found  no  difficulty 
in  killing  as  many  as  they  desired.  Venison  was  a  common  article  of  food  on 
the  pioneer  tables.  Wild  turkeys  were  very  numerous,  and,  it  is  said,  were 
often  so  fat  that  when  they  were  shot  to  the  ground  from  the  tops  of  high  trees, 
the  skin  upon  their  backs  burst  open  like  a  ripe  pod.  This  is  vouched  for  by 
more  than  one  old  settler.  Wolves  were  numerous  and  troublesome.  They 
often  found  their  way  into  sheep-folds  at  night  and  destroyed  many  or  all  of 
the  flock.  Then  it  was  that  the  old  settler  breathed  maledictions  of  revenge 
toward  the  marauder.  On  one  occasion,  Henry  Randall  fired  into  a  pack  of 
these  ferocious  animals,  and  at  one  lucky  shot  killed  three.  Bears  were  some- 
times seen,  but  only  rarely.  About  thirty-five  years  ago,  a  number  of  men 
with  dogs,  started  a  bear  from  some  swamp  in  Noble  County,  and  chased  it  into 
Milford  Township.  Isaac  Carpenter,  who  was  hunting  in  the  woods,  encoun- 
tered the  animal  and  shot  it.  It  is  said  that  Ed  Dyer  in  one  day  killed  five 
deer.  Those  who  were  familiar  with  the  habits  of  these  animals  always 
endeavored  to  shoot  the  buck  or  leader  of  the  herd,  as  in  that  case  the  others 
would  stop,  thus  giving  the  hunter  time  to  reload.  It  was  often  the  case  that, 
if  the  hunt  was  properly  managed,  the  entire  herd  fell  before  the  rifle  of  the 


MILFORD    TOWNSHIP.  247 

hunter.  Mi  not  Goodsell  tells  that,  to  the  best  of  his  knowledge,  he  on  one 
occasion  killed  three  deer  at  one  shot.  The  circumstances  were  about  as  fol- 
lows : 

One  morning,  late  in  autumn,  after  a  heavy  snow  of  the  previous 
night,  Mr.  Goodsell  put  his  horses  to  the  sled  and  started  out  to  hunt  deer, 
knowing  that  it  would  be  an  excellent  time.  He  drove  several  miles  in  a 
southerly  direction,  and,  while  crossing  a  road,  saw  three  deer  bound  across  the 
track  in  front  of  him.  He  got  a  good  shot  at  one,  but  for  some  reason  missed 
it.  He  continued  to  drive  on  through  the  woods,  until  finally  he  discovered 
the  tracks  of  four  deer,  and  in  a  few  minutes  later  saw  them  coming  back, 
whereupon  he  concealed  himself  and  shot  at  one  of  the  herd,  but  again  missed, 
much  to  his  chagrin.  The  one  shot  at  seemed  to  separate  from  the  rest,  as  the 
other  three  started  rapidly  in  the  direction  of  Mr.  Dryer's,  and  soon  entered  a 
dense  brushy  marsh.  Mr.  Goodsell  hitched  his  team  and  crept  into  the  marsh, 
watching  cautiously  for  another  shot.  At  last  he  saw  one  of  the  deer  just  over 
the  ridge  of  a  snow  bank.  He  made  proper  calculations  and  fired  through  the 
upper  edge  of  the  drift,  expecting  to  strike  the  deer  in  a  vital  spot,  but  again 
he  was  doomed  to  disappointment,  as  the  three  deer  dashed  out  and  scampered 
away  through  the  snow.  He  followed  them  some  distance,  and  noticed  that  one 
of  them  was  wounded,  as  blood  drops  could  be  seen  on  the  snow.  At  last  he 
saw  them  some  distance  ahead.  One  was  pawing  up  the  snow,  and  a  minute 
later  it  lay  down,  and  the  others  came  back  and  also  lay  down  near  it.  Mr. 
Goodsell  crept  around  so  as  to  get  a  large  log  (which  was  rendered  quite  high 
by  the  foot  and  a  half  of  snow  on  it)  between  himself  and  the  animals,  and 
then  succeeded  in  creeping  through  the  sound-deadening  snow  to  within  ten 
yards  of  the  prostrate  animals.  After  looking  a  moment,  he  crept  back  a  few 
paces,  and,  quickly  cocking  his  gun,  rose  suddenly  to  his  feet.  The  animals 
leaped  up  like  a  flash,  but  the  rifle  of  the  hunter  rang  out  on  the  morning  air, 
and  the  nearest  deer  (the  wounded  one)  fell  dead  in  the  snow,  while  the  other 
two  bounded  off  at  full  speed.  He  bled  the  dead  animal  and  then  started  after 
the  others,  and  then  noticed  for  the  first  time  that  one  of  the  latter  was  bleed- 
ing. Within  a  quarter  of  a  mile  it  was  found  dying  in  the  snow.  It  was  bled, 
and  the  hunter  started  after  the  other,  when  to  his  astonishment  it  was  found 
also  to  be  bleeding.  At  last  he  found  it  badly  wounded,  in  a  little  clump  of 
bushes,  and  dispatched  it  with  his  knife.  All  three  deer  had  undoubtedly  been 
struck  by  the  same  bullet.  The  first  one  had  five  bullet  holes  in  its  hide,  three 
of  which  had  been  made  before  it  was  last  wounded ;  but  at  all  events  the  last  shot 
brought  it  down.  The  other  two  were  undoubtedly  mortally  wounded  by  the 
last  shot.  The  three  dead  animals  were  loaded  on  the  sled  and  taken  home.  It 
is  related  that  Henry  Randall,  one  day,  saw  a  large  bear  in  an  oak  tree  eating 
acorns,  whereupon  he  advanced,  fired,  and  brought  it  dead  to  the  ground. 
Col.  William  Cochran  brought  with  him  from  Marion  County,  Ohio,  three 
well-trained  Siberian  bloodhounds.     They  were  savage  animals  and  had  to  be 


248  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

watched.  One  day  they  were  heard  off  in  the  woods  baying  at  some  animal 
they  had  brought  to  a  stand,  whereupon  one  or  more  of  the  boys  went  out 
with  his  gun  to  see  what  was  the  matter.  He  found  that  the  dogs  had  driven 
a  catamount  into  the  top  of  a  large  perpendicular  branch  of  a  slanting  tree, 
and  one  of  the  dogs  had  succeeded  in  reaching  the  foot  of  the  branch,  and 
was  standing  baying  on  the  slanting  trunk,  while  the  others  were  on  the  ground 
twenty  feet  underneath.  At  the  approach  of  the  boy,  and  before  he  could  get 
a  shot,  the  catamount  leaped  to  the  ground,  breaking  its  fall  on  a  small  ash 
tree  beneath,  and,  running  a  short  distance,  ran  up  a  very  high  tree  and  lay 
down  lengthwise  on  a  branch  at  the  extreme  top.  As  it  leaped  from  the  slant- 
ing tree,  the  dog  on  the  trunk  at  the  foot  of  the  branch  leaped  after  it,  and 
was  badly  hurt  by  the  fall.  The  boy  hurried  up,  and,  taking  aim  at  the  cata- 
mount, fired,  and  the  animal,  with  a  convulsive  spring,  fell  the  whole  distance 
to  the  ground,  probably  dying  before  it  struck.  Many  other  incidents  of  a 
similar  nature  might  be  related  if  space  permitted. 

To  Milford  belongs  the  credit  of  organizing  the  first  company  of  Regulators 
in  accordance  with  an  act  of  the  State  Legislature,  approved  in  1852.  On  the 
12th  of  September,  1856,  the  following  men  and  others  assembled  at  the  Bul- 
lock Schoolhouse  to  effect  an  organization,  and  devise  some  means  to  bring 
horse-thieves,  counterfeiters  and  other  criminals  to  punishment :  J.  L.  Bul- 
lock, Alanson  Hill,  Orrin  Fuller,  Zopher  Case,  George  W.  James,  A.  P.  Case, 
Jacob  Hill,  William  Hill,  Ebenezer  Hill,  Isaac  Carpenter,  Charles  Cochran, 
Phillip  Helmer,  Stephen  Shearman  and  John  Shearman.  Mr.  Bullock  was 
chosen  President,  Alanson  Hill,  Vice  President,  and  Orrin  Fuller,  Secretary. 
The  latter,  and  perhaps  others,  was  appointed  to  draft  a  constitution,  which 
was  done,  it  being  presented  and  adopted  on  the  20th  of  September,  1856. 
This  company  did  very  effective  service  in  this  and  adjoining  counties. 

Milford  was  the  home  of  Benjamin  B.  Waterhouse,  a  native  of  Connecti- 
cut, though  reared  in  Oswego  County,  N.  Y.  He  was  one  of  the  noblest  and 
kindest-hearted  men  that  ever  lived.  From  his  earliest  years,  his  soul  shrank 
in  repugnance  from  that  so-called  "  divine  institution,"  known  as  human  slavery. 
His  conscience  cried  out  against  the  wrong,  and,  at  last,  led  him  into  promi- 
nent connection  with  a  well-traveled  line  of  Underground  Railroad.  He  lost  no 
opportunity  to  assist  runaway  slaves  on  their  way  to  Canada,  and  his  house 
at  last  became  a  noted  harbor,  and  was  known  to  colored  people  far  down  in 
the  Southern  States.'  The  first  noted  station  south  of  his  house  was  at  the 
Whitfords,  in  Allen  Township,  Noble  County,  while  the  first  one  north  was  at 
Orland,  and  the  second  at  the  residence  of  John  Waterhouse,  twelve  miles  south 
of  Coldwater,  Mich.  A  volume  might  be  employed  in  which  to  tell  all  the 
incidents  connected  with  the  career  of  Mr.  Waterhouse  as  an  Underground  Rail- 
road agent.  He  had  a  covered  buggy,  or  carriage,  in  which  the  slaves  were 
placed,  when  not  too  numerous  (in  such  case  a  wagon  was  used)  and  a  blanket 
thrown  over  the  heads  of  the  blacks),  and  conveyed  to  Orland,  and  there  de- 


^Aa/i^  "^(T-cyA/iM^ 


MILFORD  TP. 


MILFORD    TOWNSHIP.  251 

livered  to  a  wagon-maker  named  Clark,  or  to  Mr.  Barry  and  one  or  two  other 
trusty  men  ;  hence  they  were  taken  on  to  the  house  of  John  Waterhouse  and 
other  places  north.  Some  hypercritical  persons  have  said  that  his  carriage 
stunk  terribly  of  the  negroes  who  rode  in  it.  It  is  safe  to  say  that  Mr.  Wate^ 
house  helped  100  runaway  slaves  to  escape.  His  neighbors  did  not  molest 
him,  though  some  were  much  opposed  to  what  he  was  doing.  It  is  said  that 
David  Randall  went  out  one  morning  with  his  hoe  on  his  shoulder  to  dig 
potatoes.  He  had  scarcely  begun,  when  a  gigantic  negro  came  swiftly  from 
the  woods  a  short  distance  away,  and  approached  him.  Mr.  Randall  saw  in- 
stantly, from  the  weary  appearance,  torn  clothing,  haggard  face,  and  indis- 
pensable bundle  of  clothing  of  the  colored  man,  that  he  was  a  fugitive  slave. 
Thinking  to  try  the  fellow  a  little,  Mr.  Randall  called  out,  "Look  here!  you 
are  running  away  from  your  master.  You  turn  right  around  and  start  back 
for  the  South,  or  I'll  report  you."  It  was  no  fun  for  the  desperate  colored 
man,  for  he  thought  Mr.  Randall  was  in  earnest.  He  looked  fiercely  at  the 
settler  for  an  instant,  and  then  coolly  laid  down  his  stick  and  bundle,  took  off 
his  ragged  coat  and  placed  it  on  the  ground,  doubled  up  a  pair  of  fists  that 
looked  like  sledge-hammers,  and  then  started  for  the  settler,  exclaiming, 
"  Massa,  ye'd  better  got  yerself  ready  ;  I'se  a  comin',"  The  settler,  in  alarm, 
instantly  protested  that  he  was  only  fooling ;  and  the  fugitive  desisted  and  went 
slowly  back  and  put  on  his  coat.  Mr.  Randall  directed  him  on  his  way,  and 
the  determined  fellow  was  soon  out  of  sight. 

After  the  enactment  of  the  fugitive  slave  law,  in  1852,  Mr.  Waterhouse 
worked  harder  than  ever  for  the  slaves.  Early  one  morning,  during  the  autumn 
of  1853,  Augustus  Whitford,  of  Noble  County,  brought  five  or  six  fugitive 
colored  men  in  a  wagon  to  the  residence  of  Mr.  Waterhouse.  As  they  were  to 
be  taken  on  to  Orland  by  Mr.  Waterhouse  without  delay,  Mrs.  Waterhouse  and 
daughters  hurriedly  prepared  them  a  substantial  breakfast.  This  they  dis- 
patched as  only  travelers  know  how,  and  soon  they  were  again  on  their  way, 
reaching  Orland  in  a  few  hours.  At  this  point  the  whole  party,  including 
Messrs.  Clark,  Barry  and  others,  of  Orland,  were  seen  by  men  who  reported 
the  violation  of  the  law  to  Dr.  Marsh,  a  Deputy  United  States  Marshal  resid- 
ing near  there.  The  slaves  were  taken  on  to  Canada  by  the  Abolitionists 
without  molestation.  The  owners  of  the  slaves  became  aware  of  how  the  latter 
escaped,  and  learned  the  names  of  Mr.  Waterhouse  and  those  at  Orland  who 
had  assisted  him.  They  therefore,  in  the  fall  of  1854,  had  these  men  arraigned 
before  the  United  States  Circuit  Court  at  Indianapolis  for  a  violation  of  the 
fugitive  slave  law,  Mr.  Cyrus  Fillmore,  brother  of  ex-President  Fillmore,  ap- 
pearing as  one  of  the  prosecuting  witnesses.  Mr.  Waterhouse  was  found  guilty, 
and  sentenced  to  pay  a  fine  of  $50  and  to  be  imprisoned  for  twenty-four  hours . 
The  imprisonment  was  remitted  or  avoided,  but  the  fine  was  probably  paid. 
This  action  of  the  court  did  not  deter  Mr.  Waterhouse  one  iota  from  frequent 
future  violations  of  the  (to  him)  odious  law. 


252  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

About  this  time,  strong  anti-slavery  meetings  were  held  in  various  portions 
of  the  surrounding  country.  One  was  held  at  Orland,  which,  at  that  time, 
contained  many  Abolitionists.  Miss  Whitford,  of  Allen  Township,  Noble 
.County,  an  enthusiastic  Abolitionist  and  a  lady  of  excellent  heart  and  char- 
acter, was  present  and  sang,  with  great  power  and  effect,  the  song,  one  verse 
of  which  is : 

"The  baying  hounds  are  on  my  track  ; 
'  Old  massa's  close  behind, 

And  he's  resolved  to  take  me  back 
Across  the  Dixon  line." 

A  large  meeting  of  the  same  nature  was  held  at  Brushy  Chapel,  Spring- 
field Township,  about  the  same  time,  Miss  Whitford  being  present  and  singing 
the  same  and  other  appropriate  songs. 

Mr.  Waterhouse  was  a  sincere  and  ardent  Methodist,  and  took  his  position 
regarding  slavery  because  he  thought  that  Divine  approval  would  sanction  such 
a  course.  May  his  name  be  written  with  those  of  "Old"  John  Brown  and 
Owen  Lovejoy. 

During  the  autumn  of  1836,  Col.  Cochran  built  a  dam  at  the  outlet  of 
Long  Lake,  and  over  a  short  race  erected  the  first  saw-mill  in  the  township.  The 
mill  was  provided  with  a  "  flutter- wheel "  and  a  "sash  saw."  It  has  changed 
owners  many  times  and  has  been  subjected  to  many  alterations,  but  it  is  yet  in 
operation.  George  Bassett,  at  an  early  day,  made  shingles  by  horse- power. 
He  turned  out  a  considerable  quantity,  finding  a  ready  sale  in  the  neighbor- 
hood. Smith  &  Chaffee  built  a  steam  saw-mill  about  thirty  years  ago.  It  was 
a  good  mill.  They  also  manufactured  shingles.  In  1848,  the  Plank  Road 
Company  built  a  steam  saw-mill  at  South  Milford,  which,  under  a  change  of 
owners,  has  been  in  operation  since.  It  has  done  a  vast  amount  of  sawing. 
A  Mr.  Baxter  conducted  an  ashery  in  the  southern  part  for  a  series  of  years. 

Quite  a  little  village  grew  up  at  Mud  Corners  at  an  early  day.  F.  B. 
Masey  erected  a  store  building  there  about  the  year  1845.  He  had  probably 
$3,000  worth  of  goods.  Wright  &  Barry  soon  succeeded  him.  They  erected 
an  ashery,  and  for  several  years  manufactured  more  than  twenty  tons  of  pearl- 
ash  per  annum,  the  greater  portion  of  which  was  shipped  away  to  market. 
James  Knight  began  the  erection  of  a  brewery  at  the  place,  but  abandoned  the 
project  before  the  building  was  completed.  George  W.  Hatch  built  a  tannery 
there  ;  he  bought  hides,  but  retired  from  the  business  before  any  leather  was 
finished.  William  Knight  conducted  a  blacksmith  shop  there ;  Judge  Seeley 
the  same.  William  Dunn  was  Postmaster  there,  and  it  is  said  the  office  paid 
the  official  well.  The  place  saw  its  brightest  days  about  thirty  years  ago.  The 
road  past  the  corners  and  on  down  into  Springfield  Township  was  at  that  time 
known  as  "  Brain  street,"  from  the  number  of  Judges  and  other  officials  who 
lived  thereon. 

In  1856,  John  A.  Bartlett  and  Francis  Henry,  owners  and  proprietors, 
laid  out  forty-seven  lots  on  Section  32,  and  named  the  village  thus  founded 


MILFORD    TOWNSHIP.  253 

South  Milford.  There  were  four  or  five  families  living  in  the  village  at  the 
time  it  was  laid  out.  In  about  the  year  1852,  Wildman  &  Taylor  opened  a 
good  country  store.  Jonathan  Law  was  in  the  partnership  in  some  capacity. 
Lambert  &  Rowe  appeared  with  a  stock  of  goods  a  few  years  before  the  last 
war  broke  out.  Other  merchants  have  been  Hamlin  Brothers,  Dr.  Gower, 
Austin,  Jenkins,  W.  W.  Miller,  Hamilton  Trindle,  and  the  present  partnership, 
J.  N.  Strayer  &  Co.  The  Bartlett  Brothers  owned  the  old  store  building.  They 
erected  the  first  hotel  building.  Theodore  Upson  is  the  present  owner  of  a 
wagon  and  carriage  shop,  which  is  doing  an  excellent  business.  Orrin  Fuller 
was  in  the  same  business  about  twenty  years  ago.  Wildman  &  Taylor  removed 
their  store  in  about  1857.  Fuller  &  Francis  owned  a  good  store  at  an  early 
day.  Dr.  Diggins  located  in  the  village  in  about  the  year  1854,  but  did  not 
remain  over  a  year.  Dr.  John  Dancer  appeared  in  August,  1855,  and  has  since 
remained  practicing  in  the  village  and  surrounding  country.  He  is  one  of  the 
substantial  men  of  the  place.  Dr.  White  was  in  two  years,  coming  in  1869. 
Dr.  Broughton  was  in  three  years.  Dr.  Robinson  was  in  a  year  and  a  half. 
Dr.  W.  A.  Nusbaum  appeared  with  packages  and  powders  last  March.  The 
present  population  is  about  two  hundred.  In  1880,  the  following  persons  had 
passed  the  age  of  seventy-five  :  Clarissa  Dyer,  seventy-eight ;  John  Fought, 
eighty-seven  ;  Kalzamon  Gunn,  seventy-nine  ;  Isaac  Hey  wood,  eighty-eight ; 
Jacob  West,  eighty  ;  Mary  Fiandt,  eighty-nine ;  Valentine  Groh,  seventy- 
nine  ;  Betsy  Gunn,  seventy-nine  ;  Peter  Sabin,  eighty. 

Schools  started  up  at  a  very  early  day  in  Milford.  The  first  school  build- 
ing in  the  township  was  erected  during  the  autumn  of  1836,  by  several  of  the 
settlers  in  at  that  time,  among  whom  were  the  Cochrans,  the  Goodsells,  the 
Turners,  the  Butts  and  others.  Orris  Danks  taught  in  this  house  during  the 
following  winter,  some  twelve  scholars  attending.  Danks  was  a  long-limbed, 
eccentric  Yankee.  He  had  a  good  education  for  the  times,  and  the  backwoods 
children  regarded  him  as  a  marvel  of  learning  and  greatness.  Of  couse  the 
Yankee  was  equal  to  an  emergency  of  that  kind.  It  did  him  proud.  This 
schoolhouse  was  located  at  what  afterward  became  known  as  ''  Mud  Corners," 
named  so  from  the  extremely  muddy  place  at  the  crossing.  The  old  house  was 
a  substantial  one,  and  was  used  until  not  far  from  the  year  1854,  when  another 
was  erected  at  the  same  place  by  Capt.  Barry  and  Judge  Seeley.  The  walls 
were  built  of  cobble  stones  and  mortar,  and  the  building  became  known  as  the 
"  Mud  Schoolhouse."  Some  say  that  this  schoolhouse  (built  as  it  was  of  mud 
and  stone)  gave  name  to  the  place,  but  that  is  a  mistake,  as  the  locality  was 
known  as  "  Mud  Corners"  long  before  the  building  was  erected.  The  "mud  " 
house  was  a  poor  concern,  as  the  boys  soon  picked  it  in  pieces  with  their  jack- 
knives.  In  this  manner  an  extra  door  was  soon  made  at  one  corner,  and  then 
the  building  became  dangerous,  and  another  was  built.  Not  far  from  the  year 
1840,  a  log  schoolhouse  was  built  in  the  western  part,  near  the  Cases.  In  about 
the  year  1838,  a  log  schoolhouse  was  built  about  half  a  mile  north  of  South 


254  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

Milford.  This  was  probably  the  second  school  building  in  the  township.  The 
Baileys,  the  Fitches,  the  Sturgises,  the  Bassetts  and  others,  sent  to  this  house. 
Two  terms  of  school  were  taught  before  1840,  in  a  building  near  the  saw-mill 
owned  by  Col.  Cochran.  Immediately  afterward,  a  log  schoolhouse  was  built 
in  the  Perkins  neighborhood.  The  Cochran  school  building  was  erected  about 
twenty-five  years  ago.  The  one  near  the  Kinsman  saw-mill  was  built  in  about 
1843,  and  the  one  two  miles  east  of  it  not  far  from  the  same  time.  In  those 
early  days,  schoolhouses  followed  the  settlers — no  regard  being  paid  to  their 
location — just  so  far  apart.  Wherever  a  sufficient  number  of  children  were 
found,  there  was  the  spot  for  a  log  schoolhouse.  The  first  school  structure  in 
South  Milford  was  a  frame  building,  now  used  as  a  dwelling  by  J.  A.  Bartlett, 
and  was  erected  in  1854.  Miss  Hartsock  was  one  of  the  first  teachers.  The 
house  was  built  wholly  at  the  expense  of  the  townspeople,  no  assistance  being 
received  from  the  Township  Trustees.  Good  schools  were  held  in  this  house, 
which  was  used  until  five  years  ago,  when  the  present  brick  building  was  erected. 
The  township  is  at  present  provided  with  good  schoolhouses. 

A  small  Baptist  society  was  early  organized  at  the  residence  of  Col. 
Cochran.  Elder  Bailey,  of  Angola,  preached  for  the  few  families  that  gath- 
ered there.  The  society  survived  but  a  few  years.  As  early  as  1838,  a 
Methodist  Episcopal  society  was  organized  at  Mud  Corners  by  Rev.  Thomas 
Conley.  Among  the  early  members  were  B.  B.  Waterhouse  and  family,  John 
Searl,  wife  and  daughter,  Capt.  Barry  and  wife,  John  Barry  and  wife,  Jacob 
Butts  and  wife,  the  Trowbridges,  Hiram  Hunt  and  others.  In  a  short  time 
trouble  arose  in  the  society,  and  a  division  occurred,  one  faction  going  norths 
west  and  building  the  Brushy  Chapel,  and  the  other  remaining  at  the  old 
schoolhouse  at  Mud  Corners.  After  a  few  years,  the  latter  scattered  or  died 
out,  but  the  former  has  endured  until  the  present.  A  Church  of  God  society 
was  organized  in  the  southwestern  part  about  thirty-five  years  ago.  It  was 
instituted,  it  is  said,  by  Elder  Martin,  who  became  the  first  pastor.  Subse- 
quent pastors  have  been  Elders  Hickernell,  Thomas,  Logue,  Blickenstaff,  Sands 
and  Bumpus.  In  1848,  the  society  numbered  some  thirty  members,  and  soon 
afterward  exceeded  that  number,  reaching  about  fifty  in  1860.  In  1864,' the 
frame  church  was  erected  under  a  contract  of  $1,000  with  W.  W.  Lovett,  the 
building  committee  being  David  Lower,  Jacob  Sturgis  and  Jacob  Adams. 
The  total  cost  of  the  building  was  about  $1,200.  The  society  numbers  some 
sixteen  members  at  present.  Sunday  school  was  organized  at  an  early  day, 
Alexander  Meleny  being  the  first,  or  one  of  the  first,  superintendents.  It  was 
an  excellent  country  Sunday  school  for  many  years.  Quite  a  strong  Methodist 
society  was  early  organized  in  the  Cochran  neighborhood.  It  flourished  for 
some  eight  or  ten  years.  The  Church  of  God  society  in  the  northeastern 
corner  had  its  origin  many  years  ago  in  the  old  schoolhouse.  Here  the  mem- 
bers continued  to  assemble  until  some  questions  arose  regarding  the  use  of  the 
schoolhouse,  when  it  was  thought  best  to  build  a  church,  which  was  accordingly 


CLAY    TOWNSHIP.  255 

done  not  many  years  since.  The  society  is  not  very  strong  numerically, 
though  it  is  doing  good  work.  Some  of  its  best  members  live  in  Springfield 
Township. 


C  HAP  TEE,    XYI. 

by  e.  h.  rekick. 

Clay  Township— Swamps  and  Marshes— Journey  to  the  Wilderness- 
Early  Homes  and  Labors— Appalling  Mortality  in  1838— Growth 
AND  Improvement— Churches  and  Schools. 

CLAY  TOWNSHIP,  though  lying  near  the  heart  of  the  county,  was  one  of 
the  latest  townships  organized  and  still  remains  behind  other  townships  in 
wealth  and  population.  In  the  earliest  days  of  the  settlement,  heavy  forests  and 
marshes  covered  the  land,  with  only  about  five  sections  out  of  the  thirty-eix 
inviting  to  the  settler.  To  the  north  lay  the  broad  prairies  and  easier  cultivated 
lands  of  the  upper  townships,  from  which  Clay  was  cut  off  by  a  long  chain  of 
marshes  and  rivulets  and  small  lakes.  At  the  present  time,  a  large  fraction  of 
the  land  is  marsh,  and,  in  1830,  the  water  was  a  much  more  general  element 
than  now.  At  that  time  the  now  insignificant  Buck  Creek  would  indulge  in 
floods  during  rainy  seasons.  The  configuration  of  the  township  is  uninterest- 
ing, except  at  the  north,  where  the  country  is  rolling,  often  approaching  tlie 
dignity  of  hills.  The  only  body  of  water  in  the  township  lies  near  the  northern 
line — Buck  Lake — which  is  yet  an  attractive  little  sheet  of  water,  though  cul- 
tivation has  destroyed  much  of  the  picturesque  surroundings  it  had  when  it  was 
a  favorite  "  watering-place  "  of  the  Pottawatomie  braves  and  belles,  when  they 
were  out  on  the  Mongoquinong  and  Goshen  trail.  This  spot  is  now  rich  in 
Indian  relics,  and  a  few  small  mounds  or  burial  places  are  yet  distinguishable. 
With  its  disadvantages  in  character  of  land.  Clay  did  not  rival  the  richer  settle- 
ments in  early  years  and  did  not  get  a  start  until  La  Grange  came  to  be  the 
most  important  town  in  the  county.  The  first  certificate  issued  for  Clay  land 
was  No.  4,536  to  Nathan  Jenks,  on  June  9,  1835.  One  of  the  most  interesting 
of  the  later  entries  is  that  made  by  the  distinguished  expounder  of  the  Consti- 
tution, Daniel  Webster,  who,  it  appears,  bought  of  the  Government  the  east 
half  of  the  northeast  quarter  of  Section  9,  and  received  Land  Order  12,656, 
dated  July  20,  1836.  The  great  statesman  afterward  conveyed  it  to  Senator 
James  A.  Bayard,  father  of  the  present  Democratic  leader.  In  the  course  of 
later  transfers,  the  land  passed  through  the  hands  of  the  old  United  States  Bank, 
which  was  "nullified"  by  Andrew  Jackson.  There  was  but  little  speculation 
in  Clay  lands. 

A  saw-mill  on  Buck  Creek,  at  the  site  of  the  mills  now  owned  by 
E.  Fleck,  was  one  of  the  first  buildings  in  the  township.  Before  there  were 
any  other   white   men   settled   in    the    township,    material  was   prepared   in 


255  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

1835  by  a  few  settlers  from  the  surrounding  country  for  this  mill.  Samuel 
Hood  was  the  builder,  but  it  was  not  completed  until  after  1837.  Levi 
Knott  then  ran  the  mill.  A  little  settlement  grew  up  with  this  industry, 
which  formed  the  nucleus  of  the  township  growth.  In  this  neighborhood 
there  settled  the  Spragues,  Madison  and  Michael,  Thomas  and  Anson 
Clark,  the  latter  the  only  single  man,  and  Gilbert,  a  son-in-law  of  Thomas 
Clark.  Gilbert  soon  left  the  country  on  account  of  irregularities  which  the 
settlers  could  not  tolerate,  even  in  such  a  distant  outpost  of  civilization.  These 
pioneers  were  all  from  Ohio.  Some  of  them  had  had  bitter  experiences  coming 
up  through  the  Black  Swamp  on  the  Dayton  road,  in  Ohio,  and  it  took  brave 
hearts  to  go  through  the  hardships  and  trials  of  the  journey  for  the  sake  of 
opening  up  the  ague-tainted  woods  and  marshes.  In  1836,  John  Ryason  came 
in,  having  bought  lands  near  the  present  site  of  La  Grange.  After  much  hard 
work  in  improving  the  township,  he  moved  to  La  Grange,  and  afterward  died. 
Two  other  early  comers  were  Montgomery  and  Boyles,  who  were  employed  at 
the  mill  in  1839.  The  first  birth  in  the  township  is  claimed  to  be  a  daughter 
to  John  and  Charlotte  Ryason,  born  March  17,  1837.  But  about  the  same 
time,  Mrs.  Montgomery  presented  the  world  with  triplets,  an  occurrence  which 
caused  quite  a  sensation,  and  people  came  in  numbers  to  see  the  little  pioneers, 
not  forgetting  gifts  for  the  parents,  who  were  very  poor.  About  1837,  Richard 
Salmon  and  his  father  and  John  Ramsey  came  to  the  country  from  New  Jersey. 
Obadiah  Lawrence,  an  early  settler  in  Van  Buren,  married  in  that  town,  and 
came  to  Clay  in  1836.  He  was  a  member  of  the  first  election  board  in  1838, 
when  there  were  hardly  enough  voters  to  act  as  officers.  One  of  the  Thorps 
served  on  this  board.  There  were  four  of  this  family,  well  known  at  that  time 
— Elisha  Thorp,  the  father  ;  and  his  sons,  William,  John  and  Jacob.  Lived 
near  Lapman's  Schoolhouse. 

Shedrick  Carney,  one  of  the  most  widely  known  of  the  men  who  put 
muscle  into  the  farms  of  Clay,  came  into  line  on  land  near  La  Grange  February 
28,  1838.  He  had  previously  been  in  the  county.  He  remembers  with  distinct- 
ness the  bitter  weather  in  which  his  journey  was  made,  and  the  deep  snow 
which  covered  the  promised  land  upon  his  arrival.  Mr.  Carney  was  one  of  the 
contractors  for  furnishing  lumber  for  the  first  court  house,  at  $6.50  per  thousand 
feet. 

Samuel  Carnahan,  from  Ohio,  among  the  earliest,  settled  in  the  northeast 
in  1843,  and  lived  here  until  his  death  in  1867.  His  sons,  Alexander,  Hiram 
and  Samuel,  are  still  residents  of  the  county. 

These  pioneers  had  no  easy  task  before  them.  The  country  they  had 
chosen  was  difficult  to  open,  and  there  was  everything  to  dishearten  all  but  the 
boldest.  But  they  were  men  who  could  face  such  work  and  overcome  it.  Some 
of  them  could  chop  down  a  heavy  oak  before  breakfast  for  an  appetizer,  and  fell 
an  ordinary  monarch  of  the  forest  for  pastime.  Many  came  into  the  country 
through  mud  and  pelting  snow.     For  food  they  must  pay  18  cents  a  pound  for 


cJ^^^^^^^^t^^^--^   ^^^!/tZe^4^-^^:^^^<t^^ 


CLAY  TP. 


CLAY    TOWNSHIP.  259 

pork,  an  article  that  would  severely  try  a  modern  stomach.  Salt  was  $9  a 
barrel  and  flour  $14,  and  this  had  to  be  teamed  often  through  the  Black  Swamp. 
But  the  settlers  stood  up  bravely,  and  were  happy  in  the  prospect  of  farms  of 
two  or  three  acres,  until  the  ague  came.  The  sickly  season  of  1838  affected 
Clay  so  much  as  to  practically  put  a  stop  to  immigration  for  several  years. 
Entire  families  would  be  shaking  with  fever  and  chills,  unable  to  render  assist- 
ance to  each  other.  The  ague  had  its  favorite  home  in  the  bogs  and  fens  of 
Clay.  Other  cheerful  companions  of  those  days  were  the  rattlesnakes  and 
wolves  and  Indians.  Of  the  lot,  the  Indians  were  the  most  harmless.  They 
hunted  deer  through  the  township  a  great  deal,  but  never  molested  the  white 
men.  The  last  of  the  red  men  turned  their  faces  to  the  setting  sun  and  de- 
parted in  1843-44.  Yet,  with  all  their  hardships,  the  settlers  were  not  alto- 
gether unhappy.  Mark  Tapley  could  be  cheerful  in  the  "Eden"  of  swamp  that 
Dickens  tells  of,  and  our  pioneers  were  much  better  located  than  Mark  was, 
and  just  as  light-hearted.  There  were  social  gatherings  once  in  a  while,  as  the 
settlement  increased — gatherings  of  the  men  sometimes — and  thereby  hangs 
many  a  tale  of  lively  "shindies  "  and  high  old  times  in  some  lonely  cabin.  As 
time  wore  on,  there  were  meetings  now  and  then  in  the  old  log  schoolhouse, 
which  was  put  up  in  1837,  near  the  present  residence  of  John  Shirley,  Sr.  It 
was  only  eighteen  feet  square,  but  people  would  go  from  all  parts  of  the  town- 
ship and  the  country  around  about,  on  foot  or  in  ox  carts,  and  pack  it  full  and 
overflowing. 

Another  log  schoolhouse  was  erected  on  Henry  Wallace's  land  in  the 
south,  a  little  later.  In  the  spring  of  1836,  Eppah  Bobbins  built  the  first 
blacksmith-shop  on  the  banks  of  Buck  Creek.  All  of  these  old  buildings  have 
been  destroyed.  Although  this  region  was  not  much  sought  after  for  some 
time  (the  prairies  being  preferred),  people  continued  to  come  in  slowly.  Among 
the  new-comers  of  1839-40  were  M.  P.  Sprague,  who  came  from  New  York, 
and,  in  1845,  opened  a  brick-yard  upon  his  land  ;  William  Wigton,  father  of 
James  C.  and  R.  F.  Wigton,  of  La  Grange,  occupied  a  farm  in  the  same  neigh- 
borhood. Mr.  Wigton,  in  company  with  Edwin  Owen,  built  a  saw-mill  on  this 
land  in  1 853,  and  operated  it  for  six  years.  In  1864,  Mr.  Owen  removed  to 
Van  Buren  Township.  Another  early  family  were  the  Woodwards  (Mrs.  Mar- 
garet Woodward  and  her  sons,  John,  William  and  Thomas),  who  are  yet  prom- 
inent citizens  of  the  township  and  vicinity. 

About  1843,  there  were  bad  seasons  in  Ohio,  and,  in  consequence,  a  con- 
siderable immigration  took  place,  of  which  Clay  received  its  share.  Prominent 
among  those  who  settled  in  the  northeast  of  the  township  were  Sylvester 
Davis,  who  remained  but  a  few  years ;  his  son,  Franklin  Davis  (who  in  his 
early  days  managed  the  Showalter  Mill,  at  La  Grange,  married  in  1850,  and 
went  upon  the  farm  in  Section  11  which  he  now  occupies) ;  Lewis  Merrifield 
and  James  Packer,  afterward  of  Bloomfield ;  Jesse  Everett,  David  and  Silas 
Latta  (the  latter  of  whom  is  deceased),  Josiah  Eaton  and   Oscar  Spaulding. 


260  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

James  Boyd,  of  Tuscarawas  County,  Ohio,  generously  increased  the  population  by 
settling  north  of  Sayler's  Schoolhouse  with  a  family  of  seventeen  children.  Mr, 
Boyd  is  still  numbered  among  the  living  pioneers,  but  his  wife  is  deceased.  A 
little  later  than  1840,  John  Merriman  bought  land  in  the  neighborhood  of  Fleck's 
Mills,  and,  in  1844,  John  Robbins,  who  had  been  living  in  the  county  since 
February,  1836,  at  Pretty  Prairie  and  Van  Buren,  moved  into  Clay,  on  to  a  farm 
in  Section  20.  Mr.  Robbins  was  born  in  Pennsylvania  in  1808,  moved  with 
his  father  in  1816  to  Ohio,  and  came  to  this  county  with  his  brothers  and  sister 
at  the  above  date.     He  is  still  a  citizen  of  the  township. 

One  of  the  most  famous  characters  of  the  north  of  the  township  during  the 
early  times  was  Richard  Thompson,  or  Dick,  as  they  called  him,  a  whole-souled 
and  pious  old  man,  but  withal  as  jovial  as  any  other  son  of  Erin.  He  invested 
his  property  in  Grand  Rapids  &  Indiana  Railroad  stock,  which,  unfortunately, 
has  since  then  seldom  attained  the  value  of  15  cents  on  the  dollar. 

The  settlement  on  the  town-line  road  between  Clearspring  and  Clay  was 
begun  in  the  years  1835  or  1836,  when  Erastus  Clark,  one  of  the  earliest 
Justices  of  the  township,  settled  on  land  now  occupied  by  John  Roy ;  Ernestus 
Schermerhorn  came  to  the  neighborhood  about  the  same  time  as  Clark  did. 
John  Roy  was  here  in  1838,  but  did  not  at  that  time  remain,  being  compelled 
by  family  misfortunes  to  return  to  his  old  home  in  Wayne  County,  N.  Y.  In 
1846,  he  came  again  to  Clay  and  has  since  been  a  resident.  Mr.  Roy  has  been 
honored  by  his  township  with  the  position  of  Trustee  for  fourteen  years,  during 
which  time  he  has  erected  nearly  all  the  schoolhouses  now  in  use  in  the  town- 
ship. The  other  earliest  comers  were  Elisha  Taylor,  who  lived  at  the  present 
residence  of  Milton  Bingham ;  Hezekiah  Beebee ;  Leiflick  Sanburn,  of  New 
England;  Widow  Dorcas  Bailey,  of  Ohio;  and  Jacob  Mosher,  of  New  York, 
who  was  in  1881  the  oldest  man  in  the  township.  The  people  were  mostly  from 
the  East,  and  formed  an  intelligent  and  kindly  neighborhood.  In  1842,  Mrs. 
Caroline  G.  Bingham,  with  her  son  Milton  and  daughter  Laura,  came  to  the 
home  of  her  father,  Elisha  Taylor,  where  the  mother  and  son  still  reside. 
Their  journey  was  from  Allegany  County,  N.  Y.,  overland — there  were  nine 
in  the  wagon,  and  it  was  an  eighteen  days'  journey.  Mrs.  Bingham  was  one 
of  the  earliest  schoolmistresses,  and  can  also  remember,  as  an  incident  of  that 
time,  when  every  one  turned  his  hand  to  everything  in  the  way  of  work,  when 
she  could  see  specimens  of  her  tailoring  on  nearly  all  of  the  church-goers  at 
the  log  schoolhouse.  Samuel  Beatty,  who  now  owns  several  hundred  acres  of 
land  and  is  one  of  the  leading  solid  men  of  the  township,  came  in  about  1844, 
and  by  skill  in  cooperiug  paid  for  a  yoke  of  oxen  to  begin  the  work  of  clear- 
ing off  the  nucleus  of  his  present  possessions.  In  1851,  Arad  Lapman 
moved  into  Clay  Township  from  Newbury,  and  settled  where  he  now  lives. 

In  1843,  there  was  a  school  begun  in  the  Taylor  Schoolhouse,  just  over  in 
Clearspring,  which  was  taught  by  Elizabeth  Sanburn,  daughter  of  Eliphalet 
Sanburn,  and  afterward  the  wife  of  Andrew  Ellison,  Esq.     In  1844,  a  school- 


CLAY    TOWNSHIP.  263 

house  was  built  on  Taylor's  farm,  in  which  Hannah  Parker  was  the  first 
teacher.  A  school  was  maintained  here  until  1858,  when  the  house  was  de- 
stroyed. It  was  in  this  house  that  the  body  of  Charles  Wolford,  who,  in  a 
moment  of  derangement,  cut  his  throat  in  a  wood  near  by,  in  early  days,  was 
laid  out  to  await  the  Coroner.  A  saw-mill  in  this  neighborhood,  owned  by 
Davis  &  Fought,  and  afterward  by  William  Hudson,  was  burned  during  the 
war.     Christian  Plank  built  a  saw-mill  in  Section  33,  in  1866. 

The  early  trading  of  the  settlers  was  done  at  Lima,  and  that  town  and  La 
Grange  continue  to  be  the  markets  of  the  township,  there  being  no  stores  or 
taverns  in  its  limits.  The  first  road  to  be  laid  out  was  the  Baubaga  road, 
running  directly  west  from  La  Grange  through  the  center  of  the  township,  and 
about  the  same  time  the  Pigeon  road,  following  in  part  the  ,old  trail  past  Buck 
Lake.  About  1840,  the  road  running  north  and  south  past  the  Fleck  Mills 
was  opened.  Between  1840  and  1850  the  population  increased  at  a  good  rate, 
and  it  is  impracticable  to  give  an  account  of  the  progress  of  the  settlement. 
The  later  history  of  the  township,  further  than  that  given  in  our  sketches  of  the 
churches  and  schools,  gives  but  a  few  points  for  notice.  In  1843,  there  was  a 
memorably  severe  winter  ;  provisions  were  very  scarce  in  the  settlement  and 
no  way  of  getting  supplies.  The  snow  lay  on  the  ground  continuously  from 
the  middle  of  November  until  the  3d  of  April.  A  great  many  cattle  and 
horses  died  for  lack  of  food.  This  was  a  discouraging  time,  and  the  necessity 
of  eating  corn-bread  as  a  regular  diet  created  earnest  longings  for  the  wheat 
fields  of  the  Bast, 

Among  the  industries  of  the  township  years  ago  was  iron  mining  in  a 
small  way.  There  are  considerable  deposits  of  bog-iron  ore,  or  limonite,  in 
Hobbs'  Marsh,  which  were  for  a  time  mined  and  the  ore  taken  to  the  old  forge 
in  Lima  Township;  but  the  business  soon  proved  unprofitable  and  was  discon- 
tinued some  time  before  the  war.  One  of  the  most  important  establishments 
in  the  county  is  the  Fleck  Mills,  upon  the  site  of  the  original  saw-mill  built  in 
1837.  E.  Fleck,  in  1881  the  sole  owner  of  the  mills,  was  born  in  1834,  in 
Tuscarawas  County,  Ohio.  Upon  his  coming  to  age,  he  went  to  La  Porte 
County,  to  learn  the  trade  of  carpentering,  and  then  returned  to  Ohio,  where 
he  was  married  in  1857.  In  1865,  he  came  to  the  township  with  his  father, 
bought  the  old  mill  property,  and  rebuilt  the  saw-mill  in  1867.  In  1871,  the 
flouring-mill  was  completed,  which  grinds  the  grists  for  a  great  part  of  the  pop- 
ulation west  of  La  Grange.  The  mills  have  never  suffered  from  fire  and  no 
accident  has  occurred,  save  an  occasional  washing  away  of  the  dam. 

In  that  long-to-be-remembered  year  of  conflagration,  1871,  there  were 
destructive  fires  in  the  marshes  of  Clay.  One  started  in  the  marsh  southwest 
of  Fleck's  Mills,  and  came  sweeping  up  in  that  direction  with  the  fury  of  a 
cyclone.  The  whole  population  turned  out  to  meet  and  keep  down  the  flames, 
and  all  other  work  was  neglected.  A  great  many  fences  were  destroyed  and  a 
barn  belonging  to  Widow  Latta  was  burned.     It  was  so  throughout  the  town- 


264  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

ship,  and  if  it  had  not  been  for  the  heroic  efforts  of  the  people,  much  valuable 
property  would  have  gone  up  in  smoke.  A  funeral  was  being  conducted  at  the 
Sayler  Schoolhouse  at  the  time  when  the  fire  came  up  in  that  neighborhood. 
The  sense  of  danger  and  the  demand  for  help  at  the  fire  overcame  every  other 
feeling,  and  in  a  few  moments  scarcely  enough  were  left  to  attend  to  the  burial. 
The  early  settlers  have  had  much  experience  in  fighting  fire,  but  none  equal  to 
that  in  1871. 

A  startling  deed  of  violence  took  place  on  the  evening  of  December  18, 
1861,  which  resulted  in  the  arrest  of  Hiram  Springer,  Daniel  Rowan,  Whiting 
Phillips  and  several  other  young  men  on  a  charge  of  murder.  The  party  of 
young  fellows  and  Mr.  Jacob  Beam  and  several  members  of  his  family  became 
engaged  in  an  unfortunate  conflict  at  Mr.  Beam's  house,  in  which  he  was  struck 
down  and  his  neck  broken,  resulting  in  his  immediate  death.  The  men  above 
named  were  indicted  for  murder,  but  all  were  discharged  except  Springer,  who 
was  found  guilty  of  manslaughter,  but  was  ultimately  discharged. 

On  the  afternoon  of  January  20,  1876,  an  appalling  accident  occurred  in 
the  township,  the  saddest  in  the  history  of  the  county.  A  steam  saw-mill  be- 
longing to  William  Price  and  Joseph  Kennedy,  and  located  two  miles  north- 
west of  La  Grange,  was  blown  to  pieces  on  that  day,  and  three  men  instantly 
killed.  The  mill  was  totally  demolished  and  scattered  over  an  area  of  ten 
acres.  The  proprietors  and  employes  were  in  the  mill  at  the  time  of  the 
explosion,  and  Price  was  thrown  some  distance,  bruised  and  stunned.  Kennedy 
was  so  badly  torn  and  bruised  that  he  breathed  his  last  as  soon  as  picked  up. 
Sebastian  Goss,  the  sawyer,  was  instantly  killed  and  Henry  Corwin,  the  en- 
gineer, was  terribly  mangled.  To  add  to  the  horror,  a  little  child  of  Mr.  Ken- 
nedy's was  so  badly  scalded  that  its  life  was  long  despaired  of  The  proprietors 
had  been  residents  of  Clay  for  about  three  years.  The  terrible  event  produced 
a  profound  sensation.  It  was  one  of  those  mysterious  explosions  for  which  no 
one  can  be  blamed  and  cannot  be  explained. 

Clay  Township  is  now  populous  and  becoming  well  developed.  The 
marshes  are  being  drained  and  cultivated,  fine  roads  traverse  the  township  in 
every  direction,  the  fertile  soil  is  well  tilled  and  yields  abandantly,  and  many 
fine  residences  attest  the  comfortable  circumstances  of  the  farmers  who  have 
made  Clay  what  it  is,  and  now  have  a  right  to  enjoy  the  fruits  of  their  labor. 

Brief  sketches  of  the  churches  and  schools  of  the  township  will  serve  to 
indicate  its  social  development.  The  first  religious  meetings  in  the  township 
were  held  by  a  Methodist  Episcopal  minister,  stationed  at  Lima.  The  same 
denomination  have  at  present  smalV  classes  at  Green's  and  Roy's  Schoolhouses, 
whose  pastor  is  Rev.  B.  H.  Hunt.  The  Rev.  James  Latham,  a  very  earnest 
and  fiery  circuit  preacher  of  the  Protestant  Methodist  Church,  began  to  preach 
at  Sayler's  Schoolhouse  about  the  middle  of  August,  and  as  the  settlers  had 
been  without  religious  services  for  some  time,  he  met  with  great  success,  in 
spite  of  the  unfavorable  season.  A  regular  old-fashioned  revival  was  the  result; 


CLAY     TOWNSHIP.  265 

people  crowded  to  the  meetings,  and  a  great  many  conversions  occurred.  The 
Bethel  Church,  which  continues  to  be  the  leading  society,  was  organized  at  this 
time.  Before  this  time,  there  had  been  an  organization  of  the  Methodist  Epis- 
copal Church  at  the  Sayler  Schoolhouse,  near  the  present  home  of  Milton 
Bingham,  which  was  ministered  to  by  Revs.  Miller,  Fairchild  and  others.  The 
Bethel  society,  at  its  formation,  had  thirty-five  members ;  there  are  now  sixty- 
six. 

Among  the  early  ministers  were  S.  F.  Hale,  B.  B.  Newell,  James  Mc- 
Kinlay,  H.  H.  Hulbert,  D.  B.  Clark  and  Stephen  Phillips.  The  Bethel 
Church  continued  its  meetings  in  the  Sayler  Schoolhouse  until  1880,  when  it 
was  proposed  to  erect  a  church.  The  work  was  commenced  at  once  with  great 
spirit,  the  brick  was  drawn  during  a  busy  season  from  a  yard  several  miles 
distant,  and,  in  eight  months,  one  of  the  neatest  and  most  commodious  churches 
in  the  county  was  erected,  and  the  debt  raised.  The  church  is  in  dimensions 
36x48,  is  comfortably  seated,  and  accommodates  an  audience  of  400.  About 
one  thousand  persons  attended  the  dedication  services  in  January,  1881,  and 
the  sermon  was  delivered  by  President  George  B.  Michelroy,  of  Adrian  College. 
At  this  meeting,  $1,285  was  raised.  A  pleasant  feature  of  the  enterprise 
was  the  absence  of  all  discord  among  the  members.  Among  those  who  were 
active  in  the  building  of  the  church  were  Josiah  Eaton,  Franklin  Davis., 
Michael  Gerrin,  Hiram  Carnahan,  Samuel  Carnahan,  Samuel  Crowl  and 
Ephraim  Latta.  The  Methodist  Protestant  Church  also  has  societies  meeting 
at  Bobbins'  Schoolhouse  (seventeen  members),  and  at  Plank's  Schoolhouse 
(twenty-three  members).  Rev.  L.  F.  Hutt  is  the  present  pastor  (1881).  Josiah 
Eaton  has  been  for  some  time  Superintendent  of  the  Sabbath  school  in  Bethel 
Church,  and  is  Vice  President  of  the  County  Sabbath  School  Association.  A 
short  time  before  the  Latham  revival,  the  Baptist  Church  had  an  organization 
at  the  Bobbins  Schoolhouse,  but  it  is  not  now  maintained.  At  Roy's  School- 
house  there  is  a  Lutheran  society  at  present.  The  Amish  and  German  Baptists 
have  a  small  following  in  the  western  part  of  the  township. 

The  earliest  schoolhouses  have  already  been  referred  to.  All  of  those  first 
built  in  the  various  school  districts  have  been  torn  down  and  replaced  by  new 
and  commodious  houses,  except  Poynter's  Schoolhouse,  which  is  of  recent  erec- 
tion. The  present  houses  are  known  as  Shirley's,  Sayler's,  Ford's,  Beatty's, 
Green's,  Rowan's,  Robbins',  Miller's,  Walter's,  Everett's,  Roy's  and  Poyn- 
ter's, all  of  frame,  and  valued  at  $6,500.  Twelve  teachers  are  at  present  em- 
ployed, and  receive  $1.40  per  day  on  the  average,  if  of  the  sterner  sex,  and 
$1.13,  if  women,  for  an  average  term  of  140  days.  The  average  attendance 
for  1880-81  was  221,  out  of  an  enrollment  of  384.  The  first  division  of  the 
township  into  school  districts  was  made  January  5,  1844.  The  following  is  a 
list  of  Trustees  for  the  township:  First,  Michael  Sprague,  George  Hood  and 
Frank  Gould;  Second,  John  Merriman,  Elisha  Thorp  and  Obadiah  Lawrence; 
Third,  Eliphalet  Sanburn,  Erastus  and  Samuel   Clark ;  Fourth,  William   B. 


266  HISTORY  OF  LA  GRANGE  COUNTY. 

Elliott,  Jared  0.  Chapman  and  Reuben  Hays ;  Fifth,  Michael  P.  and  James  M. 

Sprague,  and  Samuel  Carnahan. 

Following  is  a  list  of  the  Justices  of  the  Peace  since  1842,  as  shown  by 
the  records :  William  Woodward,  1851-56 ;  Sylvester  Davis,  1850  ;  Hugh 
Finlay,  1849;  Levi  Knott,  1847-49;  J.  S.  Merriman,  1845-50;  Kiah 
Gould,  1844-49;  George  Hood,  1842-44;  James  Finlay,  1855;  William 
Lewis,  1854-58;  Josiah  T.  Bowen,  1854-58;  Thomas  Snyder,  1860-72; 
Emanuel  Fleck,  1868-76  ;  George  D,  Rockwell,  1872-80  ;  Lewis  Lisher,  1876- 
84 ;  John  Robbins,  1879-81 ;  Sheldon  Robbins,  1880-84.  By  the  census  of 
1880  the  following  persons,  over  the  age  of  seventy-five,  were  shown  to  be 
residents  of  the  township  :  James  Boyd,  seventy-nine ;  John  Brindley,  eighty- 
three  ;  Jerusha  Eatenger,  seventy-six ;  George  Eatenger,  seventy-six ;  Jacob 
Erb,  eighty-three ;  Frederick  Labold,  seventy-seven ;  Jacob  Mosher,  eighty - 
two ;  Arethusa  Mosher,  seventy-seven ;  Eleanor  Norris,  eighty ;  Hetty 
Sprague,  seventy-six. 


BIOaRAPHICAL    SKETCHES. 


TOWN    OF    LA    GRANGE. 

OTIS  L.  BALLOU,  attorney  at  law,  was  born  in  Saratoga  County,  N. 
Y.,  August  31,  1849;  son  of  Pardon  D.  and  Catharine  (Bonesteel)  Ballou. 
The  family  is  of  French  origin,  and  formerly  pronounced  their  name  Valloo. 
Early  in  the  history  of  the  United  States,  two  brothers  emigrated  to  this 
country  and  all  of  that  name  now  here  are  the  direct  descendants  of  these  two. 
The  name  is  familiar  in  the  halls  of  Congress  and  also  in  literature  and 
religion.  Otis  L.  Ballou  was  brought  to  Ashtabula  County,  Ohio,  when  a 
small  boy,  by  his  parents,  and  there  reared  to  manhood.  He  graduated  from 
the  Kingsville  Academy  in  1868,  and  in  1869  married  Julia  M.  Curtiss.  The 
same  year,  he  and  his  wife,  and  his  parents  moved  to  La  Grange  County,  where 
he  began  farming  and  teaching  school.  While  at  this  he  began  the  study  of 
law,  having  access  to  the  library  of  Andrew  Ellison.  He  was  admitted  to 
practice  in  1872,  but  did  not  commence  until  June,  1875,  and  continued  alone 
until  September,  1878,  when  he  formed  a  partnership  with  George  A.  Cutting, 
which  existed  until  September,  1880.  Mr.  Ballou  is  a  Democrat,  and  is  Mas- 
ter County  Commissioner  of  the  county.  He  has  held  local  positions  of  trust, 
and  is  one  of  the  present  School  Trustees.  To  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Ballou  were  born 
two  children — Pardon  D.  and  Katie  M. 

JOHN  BARR  was  born  in  Marion  County,  Ohio,  April  24,  1826,  one  of 
a  family  of  nine  children — six  now  living — born  to  Amos  and  Overbia  (Blox- 
som)  Barr,  who  emigrated  from  Ohio  to  White  Pigeon,  Mich.,  with  the  family 
of  John  Miller,  in  1829.  The  same  year,  they  staked  claims  in  Greenfield 
Township,  this  county — the  land  at  that  time  not  being  in  the  market — and  in 
1830  moved,  built  cabins,  and  made  that  their  final  home.  Amos  Barr  dying 
in  May,  1838,  John  Barr,  our  subject,  made  his  home  in  Greenfield  Township, 
from  the  time  he  moved  there  with  his  parents  until  his  removal  to  La  Grange 
in  1881.  The  farm  in  Greenfield  consists  of  180  acres  of  fine  land  on  English 
Prairie,  and  is  rented  out.  He  was  married  in  1851  to  Miss  Mary  M.,  daugh- 
ter of  David  and  Elizabeth  (Green)  Blya,  and  who  came  from  New  York  to  La 
Grange  County  in  1847.  To  this  union  there  have  been  born  three  children — 
Julia,  wife  of  Charles  H.  Miller,  of  Greenfield  Township  ;  Flemming,  who 
married  Ella  Fraleigh,  and  resides  in  Greenfield  Township ;  and  Libbie,  wife 
of  M.  H.  Anderson,  attorney,  of  La  Grange.  Mr.  Anderson's  father  was  the 
first  white  child  born  in  Greenfield  Township.  Mr.  Barr  is  living  a  retired 
life.     He  is  a  Republican  and  a  member  of  the  Masonic  fraternity. 

MAJ.  W.  B.  BINGHAM  was  born  in  Adams  County,  Penn.,  November  14, 
1819 ;  son  of  David  and  Sarah  (Burns)  Bingham — on  his  father's  side  descended 
from  Irish  ancestors  and  on  his  mother's  from  Scotch.  Both  of  Maj.  Bingham's 
grandfathers  came  to  the  United  States  prior  to  the  Revolutionary  war,  and 


268  BIOGRAPHICAL    SKETCHES: 

both  served  the  Colonies,  as  mechanics,  in  their  struggle  for  independence. 
Maj.  Bingham,  in  1828,  emigrated,  with  his  parents,  to  Richland  County,  Ohio. 
At  the  age  of  ten,  he  was  employed  as  mail  carrier,  on  horseback,  from  Mans- 
field to  the  mouth  of  the  Black  River,  at  that  time  a  hazardous  duty.  Young 
Bingham  continued  at  this  until  about  the  age  of  fifteen,  when  he  engaged  at 
clerking  in  Mansfield  and  neighboring  towns.  Afterward  engaged  in  agricult- 
ural pursuits  until  1847,  when  he  enlisted  for  the  Mexican  war,  under  Col. 
Bruff,  in  the  Fourth  Ohio  Regiment.  He  was  first  in  Gen.  Taylor's  division 
on  the  Rio  Grande,  but  was  afterward  transferred  to  Gen.  Scott's  command. 
He  participated  in  the  battle  of  Atlixco  and  several  other  engagerflents  under 
Gen.  Lane,  including  Puebla  and  Waumautala.  He  remained  with  Lane  until 
peace  was  declared,  and  was  discharged  as  Orderly  Sergeant  the  fall  of  1848. 
He  returned  home,  and  in  1849  married  Mary  Dille.  In  1855,  he  moved  to 
La  Grange.  His  health  having  failed  from  disease  contracted  in  his  Mexican 
campaign,  he  gave  up  farming  and  engaged  in  mercantile  pursuits.  Long  be- 
fore the  breaking-out  of  the  rebellion,  Mr.  Bingham  had  discerned  the  coming 
struggle,  and  being  an  excellent  drill-master,  he  had  a  class  formed  and  well 
drilled,  so  that  on  President  Lincoln's  first  call  he  had  troops  ready  for  service. 
After  sending  three  companies  to  the  front,  he  was  elected  Captain  of  Company 
H  in  the  Forty-fourth  Indiana  Volunteer  Infantry,  and  they  entered  service  in 
September,  1861.  At  the  battle  of  Fort  Donelson,  Capt.  Bingham  was  pro- 
moted Major  of  the  Forty-fourth  for  gallant  conduct.  He  was  mustered  out 
for  disability  the  spring  of  1863,  and  has  since  been  living  a  quiet  and  retired 
life.  He  and  wife  are  the  parents  of  five  living  children,  viz, :  Huldah,  Frank, 
Emma,  William  and  Edward. 

SAMUEL  BRADFORD,  deceased,  was  one  of  the  first  settlers  of  La 
Grange  County;  born  in  Hillsboro  County,  N.  H,,  December  20,  1800, 
and  was  a  lineal  descendant  of  George  Bradford,  who  came  over  in  the  May- 
flower. Samuel  Bradford  moved,  with  his  parents,  to  New  York  State  at  an 
early  day,  where  his  father  died  in  1808,  leaving  a  wife,  three  sons  and  four 
daughters.  His  school  advantages  consisted  of  three  months'  attendance,  hav- 
ing been  constantly  employed  in  duties  common  to  pioneer  life.  In  1820,  being 
a  minister  of  that  faith,  he  was  one  of  four  to  establish  a  branch  of  the  first 
Free- Will  Baptist  Church  in  what  is  now  Monroe  County,  N.  Y.  He  married 
Betsey  Compton  the  spring  of  1825,  in  Bradford  County,  Penn.  The  next 
day,  he  left  his  bride  and  started  into  Ohio,  where  he  was  absent  one  year, 
looking  after  the  interests  of  his  church  in  Huron,  Marion,  Hardin,  Logan, 
Champaign,  Clark  and  Madison  Counties.  He  then,  with  his  wife,  resided  in 
Marion  County,  Ohio,  five  years.  The  spring  of  1831,  he  came  to  La  Grange 
County,  pre-empting  land  in  Greenfield  Township,  known  as  the  "Stead  farm," 
and  owned  by  Benjamin  Long.  He  erected  a  log  cabin,  and  the  succeeding 
fall  returned  to  Ohio,  and  brought  his  family  and  settled  on  this  place,  which 
he  sold  in  1833  and  moved  to  Springfield  Township.  In  1834,  he  erected  on 
Turkey  Creek  the  first  saw-mill  in  the  county,  and  in  1835  added  a  carding- 
raill.  In  1836,  he  sold  out  and,  in  1837,  returned  to  Greenfield  Township, 
living  upon  the  farm  of  Samuel  Brown,  where  he  held  schools  in  his  house, 
among  the  first  in  the  township.  About  this  time.  Elder  Bradford  withdrew 
from  the  Free- Will  Baptist  Church,  having  adopted  the  non-resistant  and  anti- 
slavery  principles,  and  formed  the  society  at  Lexington  known  as  the  "  Congre- 
gation of  Saints."  Elder  Bradford  was  a  man  of  strong  religious  convictions, 
and  the  greater  part  of  his  life  was  given  to  elevate  and  better  mankind.     He 


TOWN  OF  LA  GRANGE.  269 

assisted  in  the  organization  of  the  La  Grange  Industrial  Association,  and  at 
the  time  of  his  death  was  a  member  of  the  La  Grange  Phalanx.  He  died 
December  3,  1845,  and  to  his  memory  was  erected  a  monument  by  the  mem- 
bers of  the  Congregation  of  Saints,  on  which  was  inscribed  the  following  : 

"  Brother,  in  thee  Society  no  common  loss  sustained, 
For  thou  wast  to  humanity  a  warm  and  faithful  friend. 

Thy  life,  thy  nobler  powers,  with  an  unsparing  hand  to  God  and  man  thou  didst  devote. 
And  all  thou  hadst  an  I  all  thou  was  thou  gavest  to  promote." 

His  wife  was  a  native  of  Cooperstown,  N.  Y. ;  born  December  8,  1799- 
They  had  four  children — William  C,  Alvah  E.,  Samuel  P.  and  Lucinda.  Mrs. 
Bradford  bravely  shared  the  privations  of  pioneer  life,  and  after  his  death 
carried  out  the  principles  he  had  inculcated  in  the  minds  of  their  children, 
which  left  their  impress  upon  them  through  life.     She  died  August  3,  1856 

CAPT.  SAMUEL  P.  BRADFORD,  County  Clerk,  is  the  only  survivor  of 
the  family  of  Samuel  Bradford,  and,  with  the  exception  of  one  brother,  Wm.  C, 
who  is  buried  on  the  north  side  of  Pretty  Prairie,  all  rest  in  the  village  cemetery 
of  Lexington.  Capt.  Bradford  was  born  April  11,  1832,  on  English  Prairie, 
in  Greenfield  Township,  and  is  the  oldest  white  person  born  in  La  Grange 
County  and  yet  living  here.  He  received  a  practical  education,  and  Avhen 
twelve  years  of  age,  his  father  died;  after  which  he,  in  turn,  farmed,  taught 
school,  worked  at  carpentering  and  clerked  in  a  store  in  Fort  Wayne.  ■  From 
this  last  place  he  returned  and  lived  with  his  mother  until  her  death,  after 
which  he  farmed  in  Milford  Township.  On  the  22d  of  September,  1861.  he 
enlisted  in  Company  H,  Forty-fourth  Indiana  Volunteer  Infantry  as  private  ;  but, 
after  the  battle  of  Corinth,  was  appointed  Regimental  Quartermaster,  and  was 
with  the  command  from  Corinth  to  Battle  Creek,  Louisville,  Nashville,  and 
thence  to  Murfreesboro  in  1863;  then  to  McMinnville,  Jasper,  Bridgeport, 
Chickamauga  and  Chattanooga.  January  19,  1863,  he  received  his  commission 
as  Quartermaster  of  the  regiment,  and  in  the  fall  of  1864  was  assigned  to  Gen. 
Steadman's  staff  as  Chief  Quartermaster  of  the  District  of  Etowah.  January  11, 
1865,  he  was  commissioned  Captain  of  Company  H  of  his  regiment,  but  retained 
his  position  on  Gen.  Steadman's  staff  until  October  1,  1865.'  His  regiment, 
however,  was  mustered  out  September,  1865,  while  he  was  still  on  detached 
service;  but  he  was  simply  relieved  from  duty,  drawing  no  pay  after  November, 
1865,  and  finally,  in  1868,  was  mustered  out  by  special  order  of  Gen.  Grant. 
The  Captain  then  engaged  in  business  in  Tennessee  and  Illinois,  and,  in  1870, 
returned  to  La  Grange  County.  In  1877,  he  was  elected  County  Clerk  by  the 
Republican  party,  which  position  he  still  holds.  At  the  time  of  the  compfetion 
of  the  new  court  house,  the  County  Commissioners  directed  Capt.  Bradford  to 
arrange  and  index  the  records  of  the  Clerk's  office,  which  were  in  a  bad  con- 
dition. This  task  was  completed,  and  has  been  pronounced  the  most  complete 
system  in  the  State.  The  successful  manner  in  which  Capt.  Bradford  super- 
vised the  building  of  the  new  court  house  and  arranged  the  details  of  his  office 
has  brought  him  into  popular  favor'  as  an  officer  of  executive  ability.  He  was 
married,  September  3,  1858,  to  Miss  Sue  E.,  only  daughter  of  William  Hern^ 
deceased. 

C.  A.  BRANT  is  a  son  of  Jabez  and  Arminda  (Kirby)  Brant,  his  birth 
occurring  in  what  is  now  Ashland  County,  Ohio,  January  31,  1829,  and  he  is 
one  of  eleven  children.  His  youth  and  early  manhood  were  employed  at  dif- 
ferent occupations,  mostly  farming.  He  received  a  good  common  school  edu- 
cation.    In  1855,  he  married  Armina  Ensign,  and  in  March,  1856,  removed 


270  BIOGRAPHICAL  SKETCHES  : 

to  Decatur,  Iowa,  where  he  engaged  in  farming ;  he  remained  there  until  1862, 
when  he  returned  to  Michigan,  and  in  1863  removed  to  La  Grange,  and  was 
■employed  as  traveling  salesman,  at  which  he  continued  eleven  years.  In  1875, 
he  established  himself  in  the  drug  trade  in  La  Grange.  His  wife  died  Sep- 
tember 4,  1866,  having  borne  a  family  of  four  children,  only  two — Selwyn  A. 
and  Addie  M. — now  living.  Mr.  Brant  married  his  present  wife,  Louisa  V. 
Ohase,  July  1,  1873,  and  to  this  union  is  born  one  son — Charles  E.  Mr.  Brant 
is  a  Democrat,  has  been  a  member  of  the  Town  Council,  and  is  a  member  of 
4;he  Masonic  fraternity.     Mrs.  Brant  is  a  member  of  the  Presbyterian  Church. 

J.  S.  &  A.  D.  BROWN  are  sous  of  Abijah  Brown,  who  was  born  May 
30,  1799,  in  South  Adams,  Vt.  When  a  boy,  his  parents  removed  to  Herki- 
mer County,  N.  Y.,  where  they  afterward  died.  At  the  age  of  twenty-one,  he 
married  Maria  Shoff,  and  in  1826  removed  to  Allegany  County,  N.  Y.  In 
1838,  Mr.  Brown  located  in  Huron  County,  Ohio,  and  in  1845  purchased  land 
in  this  county,  and  in  1865,  having  disposed  of  his  property  in  Ohio,  he  came 
■with  his  family  to  La  Grange.  December  30,  1867,  his  wife  died,  and  he  Jan- 
uary 8, 1872.  Their  remains  rest  in  La  Grange  Cemetery.  They  were  parents 
of  seven  children — Electa,  Ira  W.,  Charlotte  L.,  Jacob  S.,  Julia  M.,  Adrian 
D.  and  one  that  died  in  infancy.  Jacob  S.  was  born  in  New  York  State 
March  22,  1829.  He  came  to  La  Grange  County  in  the  fall  of  1854,  locating 
near  the  southern  line  of  Bloomfield  Township,  and  started  the  first  steam  saw- 
mill in  Johnson  Township.  The  following  spring  his  brother  Ira  came  out, 
and  they  operated  the  mill  two  years.  Jacob  S.  then  sold  his  interest  and  re- 
turned to  Ohio,  where  for  three  years  he  was  engaged  in  farming.  Adrian  D. 
-was  born  in  Huron  County,  Ohio,  December  17,  1840.  He  came  to  this 
county  in  1865.  That  summer  Mr.  Brown,  Sr.,  and  Ira  W.  purchased  the 
Boyd  property,  and  in  the  spring  of  1867,  Adrian  D.  and  his  father  began  the 
drug  business,  continuing  until  the  winter  of  1871,  when  Jacob  S.  succeeded 
his  father.  In  the  spring  a  portion  of  the  Boyd  House  was  destroyed,  and  the 
(father  and  three  sons — Jacob,  Ira  and  Adrian — began  the  erection  of  Brown's 
iHotel.  It  was  completed  in  the  spring  of  1872  ;  it  was  a  four-story  brick, 
including  the  basement,  48x100.  The  building  was  then  leased,  and  the  lower 
rooms  occupied  by  business  firms.  In  one  room  J.  S.  and  A.  D,  Brown  opened 
a  drug  store  ;  the  bank  occupied  another.  On  the  7th  of  January,  1877,  the 
ibuilding  was  destroyed  by  fire,  the  loss  being  upward  of  $18,000.  In  1878, 
the  grounds  were  divided  and  Jacob  S.  and  Adrian  D.  began  the  erection  of 
their  present  buildings,  A.  D.  taking  the  north  lot,  which  is  22x120,  and  J.  S. 
tthe  three  lower  lots,  each  22x80.  In  the  second  story  of  the  latter's  building 
■is  situated  Brown's  Hall,  56x60,  with  a  seating  capacity  of  800,  and  the  best 
lin  town.  A.  D.  is  carrying  on  a  good  business  in  the  drug  and  grocery  line. 
The  Browns  deserve  much  credit  for  the  enterprise  which  has  characterized 
ttheir  career  in  La  Grange,  being  among  the  best  business  men  in  the  State. 
•Jacob  S.  married  his  first  wife,  Elizabeth  Ingraham,  May  11,  1856.  They 
ihad  five  children,  two  now  living — Ellen  M.  and  Kate  E.  The  mother  died 
vin  August,  1864,  and  in  October,  1865,  Mr.  Brown  married  his  present  wife, 
:Sarah  M.  Chamberlain.  They  have  had  two  children — Frederick  J.  and  Car- 
oline G.  May  3,  1870,  Adrian  D.  Brown  married  a  sister  of  his  brother's 
present  wife.  Miss  Helena  C.  Chamberlain,  and  to  them  four  children  have 
iheen  born — Guy  C,  Harold,  Thaddeus  and  Chamberlain. 

GEORGE  W.  BURBRIDGE,  station  agent,  was  born  in  Nottawa,  St. 
Joseph  Co.,  Mich.,  April  22,  1855,  a  son  of  Charles  and  Ann  (Holling)  Bur- 


TOWN  OF  LA  GRANGE.  271 

bridge,  natives  of  England,  and  who  came  to  Canada,  where  they  were  marriedi 
At  an  early  period  they  settled  in  St.  Joseph  County,  Mich.,  and  there  engaged 
in  farming.  Mr.  Burbridge  was  a  poor  man  on  his  arrival,  but,  being  energetic, 
soon  acquired  valuable  property.  In  1863,  he  enlisted  in  Company  F,  Eleventh 
Michigan  Volunteer  Infantry,  and  in  May,  1864,  died  from  disease  contracted 
while  in  the  service.  His  widow  died  in  1870.  George  W.  was  raised  in  St. 
Joseph  County,  where  he  continued  on  the  farm  until  the  winter  of  1872,  when 
he  taught  school,  after  which  he  went  to  Oberlin,  Ohio,  to  learn  telegraphy. 
The  fall  of  1873,  he  went  to  Centerville,  Mich.,  and  was  in  the  employ  of  the- 
Michigan  Central  Railroad  Company  until  the  next  November.  Since  that 
time  he  has  been  employed  at  different  places  in  his  business,  among  them  being 
Fort  Wayne,  Winchester  and  Sturgis.  For  two  months  he  was  shipping  clerk, 
in  the  furniture  establishment  of  J.  G.  Wait,  in  Sturgis.  December  14,  1876, 
he  was  employed  by  the  Grand  Rapids  &  Indiana  Railroad,  as  agent  at  this 
place.  He  is  a  Republican,  and  was  married  June  27,  1877,  to  Miss  Jennie  E„ 
Kerr,  of  Nottawa,  Mich.,  and  to  them  has  been  born  one  son — Charles  A. 

ABNER  S.  CASE,  Deputy  County  Recorder,  was  born  in  Monroe  Coun- 
ty, N.  Y.,  January  13,  1822,  one  of  twelve  children  born  to  Oliver  and 
Electa  (Webster)  Case,  who  were  natives  respectively  of  New  York  and  Con- 
necticut. Abner  Case  was  raised  on  a  farm  in  his  native  county  until  fourteen 
years  old,  when  he  moved  with  his  parents  to  Monroe  County,  Mich.  In  Jan- 
uary, 1845,  he  married  Anna  Bunker,  and  for  twelve  years  succeeding  this,  he 
engaged  in  a  flouring-mill.  In  1850,  he  came  to  Ontario,  La  Grange  Co.  Mr, 
Case,  with  five  others,  assisted  in  the  organization  of  the  Republican  party  in. 
La  Grange  County,  and  by  it  was  elected  County  Recorder,  and  served  four 
years.  He  was  then  elected  and  re-elected  County  Clerk,  serving  eight  years, 
with  the  exception  of  a  short  time  when  he  resigned  to  fill  the  position  of  State 
Senator.  He  served  in  the  regular  sessions  of  1869  and  1871,  and  a  called 
session  in  April,  1869.  In  the  spring  of  1872,  the  Recorder  of  the  county 
having  died,  he  was  appointed  for  the  unexpired  term,  after  which  he  took 
charge  of  the  new  flouring-mills  in  La  Grange.  His  health  failing,  he  discon- 
tinued this  occupation  in  1879,  since  when  he  has  been  living  retired  and  as- 
sisting his  son  in  the  Recorder's  office.  He  and  wife  were  parents  of  two  chil- 
dren— Eugene  V.,  and  Frank  E.,  who  died  in  infancy.  Eugene  V.  was  mar- 
ried, November  17, 1867,  to  Alice  M.  Ruick,  of  La  Grange,  daughter  of  Daniel 
Ruick.  To  them  have  been  born  three  children,  Anna  B.,  deceased,  Mary  E. 
and  Carl  S.  E.  V.  Case  was  County  Clerk  by  appointment  the  fall  of  1868,. 
and  the  spring  of  1869.  From  the  time  he  was  fourteen  years  old  to  1871,  he 
acted  as  Deputy  County  Clerk.  He  was  mail  agent  on  the  Lake  Shore  & 
Michigan  Southern  Railroad  one  and  a  half  years,  and  in  1880  was  elected 
County  Recorder,  and  is  the  present  incumbent. 

H.  M.  CASEBEER,  M.  D.,  was  born  in  Holmes  County,  Ohio,  April  9, 
1854.  His  father,  David  Casebeer,  was  of  German  descent,  and  a  farmer  by 
occupation.  He  married  Rebecca  Kenestrick,  who  has  since  died,  and  they 
were  the  parents  of  twelve  children.  H.  M.  Casebeer  lived  on  a  farm  until 
fourteen  years  old,  when  he  began  teaching  in  the  district  schools.  In  this 
manner  he  paid  his  way,  securing  a  good  practical  literary  education.  At  the 
age  of  seventeen  he  began  reading  medicine  under  the  instructions  of  his  broth- 
er, Dr.  J.  B.  Casebeer,  of  Auburn,  and  read  four  years.  During  the  winter 
term  of  1873-74,  he  attended  his  first  course  of  lectures  at  Ann  Arbor. 
The  next  spring  he  began  practicing  in  Auburn,  and  continued  until  the  winter 


272  BIOGRAPHICAL   SKETCHES: 

of  1875-76,  when  he  returned  to  Ann  Arbor  and  graduated,  with  the 
special  diploma  of  Physical  Diagnosis.  He  practiced  in  Leo,  Allen  Co.,  Ind., 
until  October,  1878,  when  he  removed  to  La  Grange  and  formed  a  partnership 
with  Dr.  E.  G.  White.  Dr.  Casebeer  is  a  Republican,  and  a  member  of  the 
M.  E.  Church.  He  was  married  June  5,  1876,  to  Lizzie  Speechly,  of  Ann 
Arbor,  who  died  November  10, 1880. 

JOHN  H.  CATON,  blacksmith,  was  born  in  Frederick  County,  Md., 
December  16,  1839 ;  one  of  ten  children  of  James  A.  and  Catharine 
(Ludwick)  Caton.  John  H.,  in  1849,  accompanied  his  parents  to  Preble 
County,  Ohio,  thence  to  Elkhart  County,  Ind.,  in  1850,  where  his  parents  died. 
At  the  age  of  seventeen,  he  began  learning  the  blacksmith's  trade.  He  enlisted 
in  1861,  and  was  sent  to  Indianapolis  to  join  the  Ninth  Indiana  Volunteer 
Infantry,  but  found  the  regiment  made  up.  He  soon  after  went  to  Mishawaka, 
and  was  in  the  employ  of  the  Government  as  a  mechanic.  In  December,  1861, 
he  went  to  Missouri,  and  the  following  April  came  to  La  Grange.  In  the  fall 
of  1864,  Mr.  Caton  received  a  commission  as  Second  Lieutenant,  and  recruited 
a  company,  reporting  to  the  Provost  Marshal  at  Kendallville,  and  mustered 
into  service  as  Company  G,  One  Hundred  and  Fifty-second  Indiana  Volunteer 
Infantry.  They  were  then  sent  to  Camp  Carrington,  at  Indianapolis,  Mr. 
Caton,  ad  interim,  having  been  commissioned  Captain,  and  were  here  mustered 
in  as  Company  F,  One  Hundred  and  Fifty-second  Indiana  Volunteer  Infantry. 
They  were  then  sent  to  the  front,  and  remained  until  the  close  of  the  war  on 
active  duty.  Returning  to  La  Grange,  he  resumed  his  trade.  He  was  mar- 
ried October  3,  1869,  to  Miss  Annette  Kingsley,  and  they  have  had  five 
children,  three  of  whom  are  living — Claude  H.,  John  P.  and  Kittie  B.  Mr. 
and  Mrs.  Caton  are  members  of  the  Episcopalian  Church ;  he  is  a  Republican, 
has  served  several  times  at  Town  Marshal  of  La  Grange,  and  belongs  to  the  A., 
F.  &  A.  M.  ;  also  is  a  member  of  the  Chapter  and  Commandery  at  Kendall- 
ville, and  has  held  all  the  official  positions  of  the  Blue  Lodge,  excepting  that 
of  Secretary. 

JOHN  F.  CLUGSTON,  merchant,  was  born  in  Frankin  County,  Penn., 
August  24,  1829,  son  of  John  and  Jane  (Martin)  Clugston,  natives  of  Penn- 
sylvania, and  parents  of  eight  children,  seven  yet  living.  Mr.  Clugston's 
father,  while  in  Pennsylvania,  was  a  manufacturer  of  wagons,  and  engaged  in 
farming.  After  his  removal  to  Ashland  County,  Ohio,  in  1847,  he  was  em- 
ployed in  the  manufacture  of  grain  cradles.  John  F.  was  educated  in  Penn- 
sylvania, and  in  Ohio  engaged  in  carpentering.  March  21,  1854,  he  was 
married  to  Catharine  Will,  and  the  following  August  moved  to  this  county,  which 
he  had  visited  in  1852.  Mr.  Clugston  worked  at  his  trade  about  five  years, 
and  was  Postmaster  for  a  time,  his  service  terminating  in  1860.  He  then 
formed  a  partnership  with  John  Will  in  a  general  store.  Ephraim  Welch  was 
a  member  of  the  firm  one  year,  and,  with  that  exception,  the  co-partnership  has 
continued  uninterruptedly  and  harmoniously  as  Will  &  Clugston  to  the  present, 
being  one  of  the  oldest  business  houses  in  La  Grange.  Mr.  Clugston  is  a 
Democrat,  and  a  member  of  the  I.  0.  0.  F.  Mrs.  Clugston  died  October  13, 
1880,  aged  forty-six  years  six  months  and  fifteen  days.  She  was  a  member 
of  the  Presbyterian  Church,  as  is  also  Mr.  Clugston.  They  were  parents  of 
three  children — Charles  F.,  Mary  J.  and  John  W.  Mr.  Clugston's  parents 
removed  to  La  Grange  in  1867,  where  his  father  is  yet  living,  his  mother  dying 
in  1875.  February  21,  1882.  Mr.  Clugston  was  married  at  Lansing,  Mich.,  to 
Mrs.  E.  J.  Smith,  of  this  county. 


TOWN  OF  LA  GRANGE.  273 

S.  D.  CRANE,  attorney  at  law,  son  of  Arba  and  Sarah  (Danford)  Crane, 
natives  respectively  of  Vermont  and  New  York,  was  born  in  La  Grange  County. 
His  father  was  a  carder  and  cloth-dresser,  and  an  early  settler  of  La  Grange, 
where  he  is  now  living  in  retirement.  His  mother  was  a  Mrs.  Scott  when  she 
came  to  this  county,  and  after  her  husband's  death,  married  Mr.  Crane.  She 
died  many  years  ago,  leaving  six  children,  four  by  her  first  husband,  and  two, 
our  subject  and  B.  Frank,  by  Mr.  Crane.  S.  D.  received  good  school  ad- 
vantages, graduating  at  Hillsdale,  Mich.,  in  1874.  For  several  years  he  was 
engaged  in  teaching,  having  served  as  Principal  of  the  Lima  School  two  years, 
of  Wolcottville  three  years,  of  the  Kendallville  High  School  one  year,  and  of 
the  Middlebury  High  School  of  Elkhart  County  one  year.  He  served  over  one 
year  as  School  Examiner  o.f  La  Grange  County,  and  for  six  years  has  been 
County  Superintendent  of  Schools.  He  founded  the  La  Grange  Register, 
March  26,  1876,  and  was  connected  with  it  one  year.  He  began  the  study  of 
law  in  1874,  and  in  1875  was  admitted  to  the  bar,  practicing  law  during  that 
year.  In  September,  1881,  he  went  to  Ligonier,  and,  in  company  with  H.  D. 
Reynolds,  engaged  in  the  practice  of  law  and  insurance  business.  He  is  now 
in  the  practice  of  his  profession  in  La  Grange.  Mr.  Crane  is  a  Mason,  and 
was  married  in  1870  to  Miss  Emogene  Nickols,  daughter  of  William  Nickols, 
of  Lima,  Ind.  She  died  in  March,  1877,  leaving  three  children — Clair  V., 
Charles  D.  and  Robert  G.  Mr.  Crane  was  again  married,  in  1878,  to  Miss 
Emma  L.  Benham,  a  native  of  Illinois  ;  she  is  a  graduate  of  a  Michigan  Uni- 
versity, and  is  a  practicing  physician  of  the  homeopathic  school. 

CAPT.  H.  CROCKER  was  born  in  Monroe  County,  N.  Y.,  March  30, 
1825  ;  a  son  of  Joseph  and  Almira  (Adams)  Crocker.  He  is  a  grandson  of 
Guerdon  Crocker,  who  was  a  Captain  in  the  war  of  Independence.  Joseph 
Crocker  was  a  Captain  in  the  war  of  1812,  and  is  yet  living  at  the  advanced 
age  of  ninety-one  on  the  farm  he  first  settled  in  Huron  County,  Ohio,  when 
our  subject  was  about  five  years  old.  The  representative  of  this  sketch  was  there 
married  to  Marilda  Shepard.  They  had  two  children — Ida  and  Ella.  Having 
traded  for  land  near  this  town,  he  immigrated  hither  in  the  spring  of  1850, 
where  his  wife  died  two  years  later.  He  then  began  working  at  the  carpenter 
and  joiner's  trade  in  town.  The  fall  of  1862  he  assisted  in  the  organization 
of  the  Eighty-eighth  Indiana  Volunteer  Infantry.  He  immediately  after  aided 
in  the  organization  of  Company  C,  One  Hundredth  Indiana  Volunteer  Infantry. 
On  their  way  to  the  front  they  stopped  at  South  Milford,  where  an  ovation  was 
extended  to  them  by  the  citizens.  At  this  place,  Mr.  Crocker  was  elected 
Captain,  and  they  entered  active  service  in  the  Department  of  the  Mississippi. 
Capt.  Crocker,  by  reason  of  ill-health,  tendered  his  resignation,  which  was 
accepted  in  June,  1863,  but,  owing  to  the  interruption  of  the  mails,  did  not 
receive  its  acceptance  until  the  following  fall.  On  his  return,  the  Captain 
entered  mercantile  business.  He  was  married  to  his  present  wife,  Clarinda 
Heminger,  in  1855.  He  is  a  Republican  and  a  member  of  the  I.  0.  0.  F.  of 
La  Grange. 

MAJ.  J.  L.  DRAKE  was  born  in  Holmes  County,  Ohio,  November  1, 
1817  ;  the  son  of  David  and  Rachel  (Sills)  Drake,  who  were  natives  respect- 
ively of  Maryland  and  Virginia,  and  the  parents  of  eight  children.  David 
Drake  was  twice  married,  by  his  first  wife  having  two  children.  He  came  from 
Maryland  to  Holmes  County,  Ohio,  in  1814,  and  died  there  in  1846.  His  wife 
died  in  the  fall  of  1878.  James  L.  Drake,  when  seventeen  years  of  age 
'earned  the  tailor's  trade.     This  he  discontinued  at  the  end  of  three  years,  on 


274  BIOGRAPHICAL     SKETCHES: 

account  of  ill-health,  and  engaged  in  farming;  also  clerked  for  a  time.  In 
1849,  he  and  twelve  others,  including  three  brothers,  went  to  California  over- 
land, being  one  hundred  and  five  days  on  the  trip.  They  remained  fourteen 
months.  For  the  first  two  months  our  subject  mined  with  the  rest,  but  soon 
established  a  trading  place,  and  in  three  months  cleared  $8,000.  Among  other 
things  he  clerked  in  a  wholesale  store  at  Sacramento,  receiving  $500  and  board  per 
month.  The  winter  of  1850  he  started  home  via  Panama,  and  on  his  arrival  in 
New  Orleans  was  taken  down  with  the  small- pox.  After  his  recovery,  he  returned 
to  his  family,  and  purchased  the  old  homestead  in  Holmes  County,  Ohio.  Mr. 
Drake  had  been  a  Democrat,  but  after  the  repeal  of  the  Missouri  Compromise 
became  a  Republican.  For  this  his  neighbors  made  threats  to  lynch  him.  He 
assisted  in  raising  the  first  three  years'  company  in  Ohio,  Company  H,  Twen- 
ty-third Regiment,  of  which  he  was  elected  Captain.  He  also  had  two  brothers 
and  two  sons  in  the  war.  One  brother,  Levi,  Lieutenant  Colonel  of  the  Forty- 
ninth  Ohio  Infantry,  was  killed  at  Stone  River.  The  other,  Commodore,  was 
a  Captain  in  the  One  Hundred  and  Ninety-second  Regiment.  One  son,  Levi 
N.,  was  taken  prisoner  and  starved  to  death  in  Andersonville.  The  other,  Fran- 
cis, was  a  non-commissioned  officer  in  the  Twenty-third  Regiment,  and  is  at 
present  a  hardware  merchant  of  Rome  City.  Capt.  J.  L.  Drake  participated 
in  all  the  engagements  of  his  regiment  until  the  battle  of  Antietam.  Three  of 
his  regimental  officers  became  distinguished  in  the  history  of  the  United  States, 
viz.:  Ex-President  Hayes,  Major;  Stanley  Mathews,  Lieutenant  Colonel;  and 
William  Rosecrans,  Colonel.  Capt.  Drake  was  severely  wounded  by  shell  in 
the  left  arm  and  side,  from  the  effects  of  which  he  was  mustered  out  in  October, 
1862,  and  brevetted  Major.  He  was  elected  Colonel  of  a  Home  Guards  regi- 
ment, and  was  appointed  Provost  Marshal  of  the  Fourteenth  Congressional 
District,  in  which  capacity  he  served  until  the  close  of  the  war.  He  was  mar- 
ried, August  7,  1839,  to  Susan  Hayward,  of  Cattaraugus  County,  N.  Y.  They 
have  had  twelve  children — Francis  M.,  David,  Sarah,  Ellen,  Emily,  Mary, 
Cora,  James  S.,  Newton,  Fi-emont,  Sherman  and  Jjack.  Four  are  dead,  viz.: 
David,  Sarah,  Newton  and  Sherman.  The  mother  died  April  23,  1877.  Mr. 
Drake,  in  October,  1879,  married  Mrs.  Harriet  A.  (Triplett)  Filson.  He  came 
to  La  Grange  in  September,  1866,  where  he  nas  since  been  living  retired. 

JAMES  S.  DRAKE,  of  Drake  &  Merritt,  was  born  in  Holmes  County, 
Ohio,  February  18,  1852,  the  son  of  Maj.  J.  L.  Drake,  whose  biography 
appears  in  this  volume.  At  the  age  of  fourteen,  he  came  with  his  parents  to 
La  Grange,  and  attended  the  schools  of  this  place.  In  1870,  he  entered  Hills- 
dale College,  but  discontinued  in  time  to  take  a  two  years'  course  in  the  law 
department  of  the  University  at  Ann  Arbor,  graduating  in  1874.  Mr.  Drake 
then  entered  the  law  office  of  J.  D.  Ferrall,  continuing  as  partner  until  1877, 
when  he  opened  an  office  alone.  In  1879,  he  formed  a  partnership  with  his 
former  classmate,  Francis  D.  Merritt,  as  Messrs.  Drake  &  Merritt.  Since  their 
connection  with  the  bar  of  La  Grange  County,,  have  had  an  increasing  practice 
and  now  stand  well  up  in  their  profession.  In  1878,  Mr.  Drake  was  elected  by 
the  Republicans  Prosecuting  Attorney  for  the  Thirty-fourth  Judicial  Circuit, 
and  re-elected  in  1880.  January  2, 1877,  he  was  united  in  marriage  with  Miss 
Amanda  Clugston,  daughter  of  John  Clugston,  of  this  county. 

EDWARD  S.  EDMUNDS,  teacher,  was  born  in  Danby,  Rutland  Co., 
Vt.,  September  27,  1843,  a  son  of  Obidah  and  Miriam  (Thompson)  Edmunds, 
and  the  oldest  of  three  children.  When  ten  years  old,  his  mother  died,  and 
nine  years  after  the  remainder  of  the  family  moved  to  Western  New  York. 


TOWN  OF  LA  GRANGE.  275 

The  winter  of  1862-63,  he  completed  his  education  at  Ripley  Academy, 
and  the  next  summer  went  to  Oil  Creek,  Penn.,  where,  on  the  10th  of  Septem- 
ber, 1864,  he  enlisted  as  able  seaman  in  the  naval  service  of  the  Upper  Missis- 
sippi Squadron,  United  States  steamer  ''Victory"  No.  33.  He  participated 
in  a  number  of  engagements  and  remained  in  the  service  until  June  15,  1865, 
when  he  was  discharged  at  Mound  City,  111.  He  then  returned  to  Cattaraugus 
County,  N.  Y.,  and  engaged  in  farming.  In  1866,  he  moved  to  Geauga  County, 
Ohio,  where,  for  two  years,  he  engaged  in  cheese  manufacturing,  teaching 
wi'iting  school  winters.  The  fall  of  1868,  he  went  to  Michigan,  where,  for 
three  years,  he  remained  farming  and  teaching.  From  there  he  came  to  this 
place,  which  has  since  been  his  home,  with  the  exception  of  two  years,  when  he 
was  teaching  in  Adams  County.  While  at  this  latter  place,  Mr.  Edmunds 
began  the  study  of  the  sciences,  making  a  specialty  of  geology.  In  his  re- 
searches in  La  Grange  and  other  counties,  Mr.  Edmunds  has  made  some  valua- 
ble discoveries.  In  August,  1880,  he  was  admitted  into  membership  with  the 
"American  Association  for  the  Advancement  of  Science."  For  two  years  he 
was  Principal  of  the  schools  of  Wolcottville.  He  is  teaching  at  present  in 
Allen,  Hillsdale  Co.,  Mich.  He  was  married  September  8,  1875,  to  Frank, 
only  daughter  of  Elisha  and  Mai'garet  Hicks.  He  is  a  Republican,  and,  in 
1880,  was  a  candidate  for  County  Superintendent. 

W.  S.  FAULKNER  was  born  in  Talbot  County,  Md.,  December  11, 
1836.  He  is  a  son  of  W.  P.  and  Nancy  (Pearson)  Faulkner,  who  were  natives 
of  Maryland,  and  who  moved  to  Springfield  Township,  this  county,  in  1837,^ 
where  they  engaged  in  farming,  when  all  was  woods  with  plenty  of  deer,  wolves 
and  other  wild  animals,  while  Indians  were  their  nearest  neighbors,  and  here 
resided  until  their  respective  deaths.  Mr.  Faulkner  died  in  1879,  and  Mrs. 
Faulkner  in  1849.  They  were  the  parents  of  five  children,  all  of  whom  are 
living.  Our  subject  made  farming  his  occupation  until  1878,  when  he  moved 
to  La  Grange,  where  he  has  since  resided.  In  1881,  he  sold  his  farm  of  210 
acres,  and  the  same  year  traded  for  town  property.  He  is  now  owner  and  pro- 
prietor of  what  is  know  as  the  Bullock  Foundry  and  Machine  Shop.  He  was 
married  in  1859,  to  Charlotte  E.  Sears,  who  was  born  May  23,  1837,  in  New 
York,  and  her  parents  were  also  old  settlers  of  La  Grange  County.  To  this 
marriage  have  been  born  three  children — Millard,  William  E.  and  Mary  L.  (de- 
ceased). Mr.  Faulkner  is  a  Republican,  and  he  is  an  enterprising  and  influ- 
ential citizen. 

J.  D.  FERRALL,  attorney  at  law,  came  to  La  Grange  June  25,  1865, 
and  entered  upon  the  practice  of  his  profession.  In  1866,  he  was  elected  Pros- 
ecuting Attorney  by  the  Republican  party,  performing  the  duties  of  that  office 
until  1868.  Since  entering  upon  his  professional  duties  here,  Mr.  Ferrall's 
business  has  gradually  increased  until  now  his  services  are  sought  from  the 
neighboring  counties,  and  the  limits  of  the  field  in  which  he  practices  are  scarce- 
ly circumscribed  by  the  State  lines.  These  facts  attest  his  adaptability  for  his 
chosen  profession,  and  the  value  placed  upon  his  legal  knowledge. 

R.  L.  GIBSON  was  born  in  Ashland  County,  Ohio,  October  1,  1840;  son 
of  Jacob  Gibson,  a  native  of  Maryland,  and  Mary  (Gault)  Gibson,  whose  birth- 
place was  Washington  County,  Penn.  They  were  parents  of  eight  children — 
seven  now  living.  The  father  was  a  fuller  and  cloth-dresser,  and  later  a  farmer. 
He  is  yet  living  in  Ashland  County,  Ohio,  but  his  wife  died  in  August,  1874. 
R.  L.  Gibson  was  the  youngest  one  of  the  family,  and  lived  thirty-four  years  on 
the  old  place.     He  received  a  good  education,  and  taught  in  the  public  schools 


276  BIOGRAPHICAL  SKETCHES: 

to  some  extent.  The  spring  of  1865,  he  came  to  La  Grange  County  to  visit 
relatives,  and  while  here  met  Miss  Catharine  Herbert,  eldest  daughter  of  Ralph 
and  Sarah  (McKinley)- Herbert,  who,  on  the  14th  of  February,  1867,  became 
his  wife.  They  resided  in  Ashland  County,  Ohio,  until  the  spring  of  1874, 
when  they  removed  to  La  Grange.  Mr.  Gibson  owns  sixty  acres  of  good  land 
in  Clay  Township,  which  he  farms,  and  about  ten  acres  where  he  now  resides. 
He  is  a  Republican ;  and  he  and  wife  are  members  of  the  Presbyterian  Church. 
They  are  the  parents  of  one  son — Martin  Herbert  Gibson. 

W.  C.  GLASGOW,  attorney  at  law,  was  born  in  Auburn,  N.  Y.,  April 
28,  1842,  and  is  a  son  of  William  and  Eliza  Glasgow,  who  are  yet  living  at 
Hillsdale,  Mich.  W.  C.  was  raised  on  a  farm  near  this  place,  attending  the 
district  schools  of  his  vicinity,  and  afterward  the  school  at  Hillsdale,  from  which 
he  graduated  with  the  degree  of  Bachelor  of  Science.  He  began  the  study  of 
law  with  Hon.  W.  J.  Baxter,  of  Janesville,  and,  the  fall  of  1865,  entered  the  law 
department  of  the  University  of  Michigan  at  Ann  Arbor,  The  year  of  his 
graduation  (1867),  he  came  to  La  Grange  and  began  the  practice  of  his  profes- 
sion. Mr.  Glasgow  is  a  close  student,  and  commands  a  lucrative  legal  business. 
He  held  the  office  of  Prosecuting  Attorney  of  La  Grange  County,  from  1871  to 
1875,  and,  as  Prosecutor,  gave  excellent  satisfaction.  He  is  a  Republican,  and 
is  the  present  President  of  the  School  Board  of  Trustees.  He  was  married  in 
1870,  to  Miss  Elora  Wade,  and  both  he  and  wife  were  members  of  the  Presby- 
terian Church.  Mrs.  Glasgow  died  January  14,  1882,  while  on  her  way  to 
Florida  for  her  health. 

ROBERT  H  ANSLIP  was  born  in  Yorkshire,  England,  October  25, 1831 : 
son  of  John  and  Ann  (Jackson)  Hanslip,  parents  of  eleven  children,  seven  now 
living.  John  Hanslip  was  a  blacksmith.  He  emigrated  to  America  in  1836, 
and  came  to  Mentor,  Ohio,  where  he  purchased  the  farm  now  owned  by  Gen. 
Garfield's  widow.  Through  a  mortgage  he  knew  nothing  of,  he  lost  this  prop- 
erty, and,  in  1840,  emigrated  to  Indiana,  locating  in  Lima,  afterward  in  Bloom- 
field  Township.  In  1843,  he  removed  to  Clearspring  Township,  where  he 
remained  farming  until  his  death  in  1863.  His  widow  is  yet  living,  and  resides 
in  Iowa.  Robert  was  reared  principally  in  La  Grange  County,  and,  when  a 
young  man,  engaged  in  the  stock  business.  In  October,  1863,  he  enlisted,  and 
served  until  his  discharge  in  September,  1865.  He  participated  in  a  number 
of  engagements ;  came  back,  and  engaged  again  in  the  stock  business.  He 
married  Miss  Susan  Irwin  in  1855,  and,  in  1858,  moved  to  La  Grange.  From 
1865  to  1879,  he  was  engaged  chiefly  in  buying  and  selling  horses.  The  win- 
ter of  1881,  he  established  his  present  meat  market.  To  his  union  with  Miss 
Irwin,  there  were  born  six  children — Davis  M.,  Alice  E.,  John  I.  (deceased), 
Emma  M.,  Robert  E.  and  Ray  L.  The  mother  died  October  4, 1880.  Mr.  H. 
is  a  Republican ;  he  is  a  member  of  the  Presbyterian  Church,  as  was  also  his 
wife. 

HENRY  M.  HERBERT,  Cashier  of  the  First  National  Bank,  is  a  son 
of  Ralph  P.  Herbert,  who  was  born  in  Fayette  County,  Penn.,  December 
11,  18i2,  and  when  eight  or  nine  years  old  moved  with  his  parents  to  Rich- 
land County,  Ohio,  and  from  there  emigrated  to  Lima  Township,  La  Grange 
County,  in  1835.  R.  P.  Herbert  married  Miss  Sarah  McKinlay  November 
25,  1841,  they  are  the  parents  of  four  children — Catharine  A.  (now  Mrs.  R. 
L.  Gibson),  John  E.  (died  in  infancy),  Henry  M.  and  Sarah  E.  (now  Mrs.  R. 
Ellison).  The  mother  was  born  June  11,  1819,  in  Livingston  County,  N.  Y., 
a  daughter  of  John  and  Sarah  (Cameron)  McKinlay.     The   Herbert  family 


TOWN  OF  LA  GRANGE.  277 

moved  to  Clay  Township  in  1854,  and  purchased  the  farm  where  they  now 
reside,  adjoining  the  town  of  La  Grange.  Mr.  Herbert  is  one  of  the  county's 
most  substantial  citizens.  Henry  M.,  the  only  living  son,  was  born  in  Spring- 
field Township,  February  15,  1852.  He  was  reared  on  the  home  farm  and 
received  a  good  education.  In  1870,  he  entered  the  literary  department  of 
Hillsdale  College,  Michigan,  and  in  January,  1872,  began  a  commercial  course, 
graduating  in  about  three  months.  Being  a  stock-holder  in  the  La  Grange 
County  Bank,  he  was  elected  cashier;  after  this  bank  was  merged  into  the  First 
National  he  was  elected  cashier  of  that  institution,  which  position  he  now  fills. 
Mr.  Herbert  is  a  Republican  in  politics,  and  a  member  of  the  Presbyterian 
Church. 

J.  C.  HEWITT,  editor  of  the  La  Grange  Register,  was  born  in  Cayuga 
€ounty,  N.  Y.,  August  15,  18-1:2,  one  of  thirteen  children,  of  George  M.  and 
Mary  Ann  (Farley)  Hewitt.  The  father  followed  farming  until  his  marriage, 
after  which  he  engaged  as  railroad  engineer.  For  the  past  twenty  years  he 
has  been  in  the  lumber  trade,  and  both  he  and  wife  are  yet  living  in  Cohocton, 
N.  Y.  J.  C.  Hewitt  resided  with  his  parents  until  seventeen  years  old,  after 
which  he  graduated  from  the  Rogersville  Union  Seminary,  at  South  Dansville. 
May  24,  1861,  he  enlisted  in  Company  F,  Thirty-fifth  Regiment  New  York 
Volunteer  Infantry,  as  private,  and  was  discharged  June  5,  1863.  He  partici- 
pated in  the  battles  of  Slaughter  Mountain,  Rappahannock  Ford,  Gainesville, 
second  Bull  Run,  Chantilly,  Grovetown,  South  Mountain,  Antietam,  and 
finished  his  army  career  at  Fredricksburg.  He  was  mustered  out  as  Captain. 
Mr.  Hewitt  returned  East,  and  for  a  time  taught  school,  after  which,  for  two 
winters,  he  was  clerk  of  the  Judiciary  Committee  of  the  New  York  Legisla- 
ture. He  then  read  law  and  practiced  his  profession  several  years  in  Cohoc- 
ton. In  1871,  he  received  an  appointment  as  Inspector  of  Customs  in  the  New 
York  Custom  House,  filled  that  position  two  years,  returned  to  Cohocton  and 
•established  the  Cohocton  Tribune.  The  fall  of  1871  he  sold  out,  and  May  20, 
1876,  came  to  La  Grange  and  purchased  a  half-interest  in  the  La  Grange 
Register,  of  S.  D.  Crane,  and  on  the  1st  of  the  October  following,  purchased 
the  other  half  He  was  married,  May  1,  1866,  to  Miss  Margelia  Rathbun, 
and  they  had  born  one  daughter — Grace. 

SAMUEL  G.  HOFF,  of  the  firm  of  Hoff  &  Embrey,  was  born  January 
17,  1847,  in  Richland  County,  Ohio,  a  son  of  M.  and  H.  (Mowers)  Hoff. 
The  father  was  a  cooper,  and  in  1847  came  to  Indiana,  and  in  October,  1848, 
moved  his  family  to  La  Grange  County,  and  located  at  Wright's  Corner,  where 
■he  engaged  in  mercantile  pursuits.  In  1868,  moved  to  Newbury  Township, 
where  he  is  yet  living.  His  wife  died  in  December,  1879.  S.  G.  Hoff  was 
only  twenty  months  old  when  his  parents  came  to  La  Grange  County.  He 
attended  the  Collegiate  Institute  at  Ontario,  and  in  the  summer  of  1868 
graduated  from  Eastman's  Business  College,  of  Poughkeepsie,  N.  Y.  He  then 
assisted  his  father  on  the  farm  and  taught  school  until  1872,  when  he  was 
elected  and  re-elected  County  Treasurer  by  the  Republican  party.  He  then 
purchased  a  farm  of  80  acres  near  La  Grange,  on  which  he  resided  until  the 
spring  of  1881,  when  he,  with  H.  F.  Clark,  established  a  meat  market  in  La 
Grange.  In  September,  1881,  Mr.  Clark  sold  his  interest  to  J.  W.  Embrey, 
the  business  continuing  prosperous.  Mr.  Hoff  was  married  in  August,  1874, 
to  Ruth  E.  Shaffer ;  to  them  three  children  were  born — H.  Clyde,  Freeman 
G.  and  James  L.  The  oldest  is  dead.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Hoff  are  members  of  the 
Lutheran  Church. 


278  BIOGRAPHICAL    SKETCHES: 

C.  B.  HOLMES  was  born  in  Newark,  Licking  Co.,  Ohio,  December  3, 1822, 
one  of  seven  children,  four  now  living,  born  to  James  and  Elizabeth  (Wells) 
Holmes,  who  are  both  dead.  The  father  was  a  merchant  of  Hebron,  Ohio,  in 
which  he  was  assisted  by  Charles.  In  1842,  the  latter  came  to  Lima,  then  the 
county  seat  of  La  Grange  County,  where  for  two  years  he  was  employed  in  the 
offices  of  the  County  Clerk  and  Recorder.  In  1844,  he  made  a  trip  home,  re- 
turning with  a  stock  of  goods  and  establishing  the  first  store  at  La  Grange,  then 
but  little  else  than  an  unbroken  forest,  being  also  one  of  the  first  settlers  of  the 
town,  the  first  Postmaster  and  Justice  of  the  Peace.  Mr.  Holmes  followed  va- 
rious kinds  of  business  here  until  the  spring  of  1880,  when  he  sold  out  and  is 
now  living  retired.  For  nineteen  years  he  was  engaged  in  the  drug  trade,  and 
for  nine  years  Justice  of  the  Peace.  He  has  cleared  up  three  or  four  farms, 
and  erected  a  number  of  dwelling  and  business  houses  in  La  Grange.  For 
eight  years  he  was  President  of  the  County  Agricultural  Society.  He  is  a 
Democrat,  and  for  the  past  thirty  years  has  been  a  Mason.  His  marriage  with 
Miss  Mary  M.  Rodman  was  solemnized  in  1844,  and  to  them  were  born  Alice 
and  Flora'  B.  The  mother  died  in  1872,  and  Mr.  Holmes  married  his  present 
wife,  Mrs.  Hannah  M.  (Case)  Ryason,  in  1874. 

JOHN  HOLSINGER,  one  of  the  old  pioneers  of  Northern  Indiana,  now 
living  in  La  Grange  County,  was  born  in  Stark  County,  Ohio,  January  9, 
1817.  He  is  a  son  of  William  and  Susann  (Raum)  Holsinger,  who  were  of 
German  descent.  John  Holsinger  was  raised  on  his  father's  farm,  and  in  1841 
emigrated  to  this  county,  located  on  the  farm  now  owned  by  Levi  Eshelman 
in  Johnson  Township,  and  cleared  the  greater  part  of  it  and  resided  there  eight 
years.  June  3,  1841,  he  married  Eliza  Sherman,  whose  parents  were  old  set- 
tlers of  Johnson  Township.  This  lady  died  July  27,  1847,  leaving  three  chil- 
dren— William,  Angeline  and  Albert.  Mr.  Holsinger  married  his  second  wife, 
Mary  Ann  Stroman,  December  25,  1847.  To  them  were  born  Sylvester, 
John  F.,  Francis  F.,  Adrian,  Dora  and  Ida,  and  two  that  died  unnamed.  The 
mother  died  July  11,  1871.  September  19,  1871,  he  married  Mrs.  Susan 
(Denman)  Nichols,  who  has  borne  two  sons — Harry,  deceased,  and  Walter  H. 
In  1848,  he  sold  his  farm,  and  moved  to  Iowa  ;  the  same  year,  returned  and 
purchased  a  farm  in  Orange  Township.  At  the  end  of  eight  or  nine  years,  he 
had  cleared  about  200  acres,  and,  selling  this,  moved  to  another  farm  further 
west  in  the  same  township,  buying  715  acres.  In  March,  1877,  he  moved  to 
La  Grange,  living  retired.  He  owns  315  acres  of  good  land  in  Orange  Town- 
ship, seventeen  acres  in  Elkhart  County,  and  over  five  acres  where  he  now 
lives.  When  his  children  were  ready  to  start  in  life  for  themselves,  he  gave 
each  $2,000,  which  was  just  $2,000  more  than  he  had  to  begin  with. 

R.  S.  HUBBARD  is  a  native  of  the  city  of  New  York,  his  birth  occur- 
ring July  14,  1827.  Capt.  R.  S.  Hubbard,  his  father,  followed  the  sea  for 
a  livelihood.  He  married  our  subject's  mother,  Susanna  Gates,  and  the  latter 
part  of  his  life  removed  to  Philadelphia,  Penn.,  where  he  afterward  died.  R.  S. 
Hubbard,  Jr.,  was  raised  in  the  City  of  New  York,  and  in  Orland,  Steuben 
Co.,  Ind.  At  the  age  of  nineteen  he  began  clerking  at  Angola,  but  afterward 
removed  to  Hillsdale,  Mich.,  where  he  remained  about  fifteen  months.  In  Sep- 
tember, 1849,  he  came  to  La  Grange,  and  was  employed  as  deputy  in  the  offi- 
ces of  the  county  officials.  In  1853,  he  formed  a  partnership  with  Adams 
Knott,  and  established  in  trade  at  Lima.  The  fall  of  1854,  he  and  S.  K.  Ruick 
commenced  business  together  in  La  Grange,  which  was  carried  on  three  years. 
In  February,  1857,  he  married   Susan  M.,   daughter  of  Sidney  and  Eliza  A. 


TOWN  OF  LA  GRANGE.  279 

(Streator)  Clark.  This  lady's  father  is  now  dead,  but  her  mother  is  the  pres- 
ent wife  of  Martin  L.  Punches.  In  1857,  Mr.  Hubbard  engaged  in  the  drug 
trade  at  Ligonier,  with  Dr.  Arnold,  under  the  firm  name  of  0.  Arnold  &  Co. 
Four  years  from  the  next  summer,  he  was  in  mercantile  pursuits  in  La  Grange, 
after  which  he  went  to  New  York  City  and  connected  himself  with  a  mercantile 
firm  until  1871,  when  he  returned  to  La  Grange;  July  17, 1872,  he  established 
the  La  Grange  County  Bank,  the  first  banking  establishment  in  La  Grange ; 
May  19,  1873,  he  and  Thomas  J.  Spaulding  instituted  the  La  Grange  Bank, 
which  continued  until  the  fall  of  1874,  when,  through  the  endeavors  of  Mr. 
Hubbard,  a  charter  was  obtained,  and  it  was  merged  into  the  First  National 
Bank.  Mr.  Hubbard  is  at  present  engaged  in  banking  and  mercantile  pursuits 
in  Michigan.  He  is  a  Republican  in  politics,  and  he  and  wife  are  members  of 
the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church,  of  which  denomination  Mr.  Hubbard  is  a  lo- 
cal preacher.  They  are  the  parents  of  two  children,  viz.:  Richard  Clark  and 
George  K. 

L.  D.  HUGHES,  hardware  merchant,  was  born  in  Holmes  County,  Ohio,  on 
Independence  Day,  1839  ;  one  of  twelve  children  born  to  Esrom  and  Rosanna 
(Shreve)  Hughes.  The  father  was  a  pioneer  of  Holmes  County,  having  come  there 
as  early  as  1825.  L.  D.  Hughes  received  a  good  practical  education,  and  April 
17, 1861,  enlisted  in  Company  H,  Twenty-third  Indiana  Volunteer  Infantry,  and 
was  discharged  in  June,  1864 :  with  the  exception  of  six  days,  he  was  always  ready 
for  duty.  He  participated  in  all  the  engagements  with  his  regiment,  and  was 
wounded  slightly  at  Giles  Court  House  in  West  Virginia.  On  his  return  from 
the  army,  he  commenced  farming.  April  19,  1866,  he  was  married  to  Miss 
Ellen  Drake,  daughter  of  his  Captain  in  the  war,  Maj.  J.  L.  Drake.  From 
ill  health  he  gave  up  farming,  and  came  West  in  1867,  locating  at  this  point. 
For  two  years  he  followed  clerking,  and  in  1869  established  a  hardware  store. 
He  carries  a  general  stock,  and  does  an  average  annual  business  of  $15,000. 
Mr.  Hughes  cast  his  first  vote  for  Abraham  Lincoln,  and  still  belongs  to  the 
Republican  party.  He  and  wife  are  members  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal 
Church 

JOHN  PAUL  JONES,  son  of  Phillip  and  Mary  (Beam)  Jones,  was  born 
in  Westminster,  Frederick  (now  Carroll)  Co.,  Md.,  February  19,  1822.  His 
great-grandfather,  Phillip  Jones,  surveyed  and  laid  out  the  city  of  Baltimore 
in  the  year  1731.  His  grandfather,  Thomas  Jones,  was  among  the  first  Judges 
of  the  Orphans'  Court  of  Baltimore  County,  and  his  father  was  one  of  the 
defenders  of  the  city  during  the  war  of  1812.  John  Paul  Jones  was  raised 
and  resided  in  Westminster  until  fourteen  years  of  age,  and  received  a  portion 
of  his  education  from  the  private  schools.  In  1836,  he  removed  with  his 
parents  to  Bangor,  Me.,  where  his  father  engaged  in  mercantile  business, 
our  subject  assisting  in  the  store  and  attending  the  public  schools.  His  father 
died  in  1838,  and  in  the  spring  of  1840  he  returned  to  Baltimore  and  engaged 
in  clerking.  In  October,  1840,  he  came  to  Fort  Wayne,  Ind.,  and  entered 
his  brother's  office,  Dr.  Phillip  G.  Jones,  who  was  then  Clerk  of  the  Allen 
County  Circuit  Court.  Shortly  after  this  he  united  with  the  Methodist  Epis- 
copal Church,  and  in  1842  was  licensed  to  preach,  and  received  into  the  Indi- 
ana Conference,  then  comprising  the  whole  State,  and  appointed  to  the  Steuben 
Circuit,  with  Rev.  E.  S.  Blue  preacher  in  charge.  While  pastor  of  the  Meth- 
odist Episcopal  Church  of  South  Bend,  Indiana,  in  1848,  he  was  taken  ill, 
and  retired  from  active  ministerial  duties.  In  1849,  he  located  in  La  Grange 
and  engaged  in  mercantile  pursuits.     In  1850,  he  was  elected  Representative 


280  BIOGRAPHICAL    SKETCHES: 

to  the  State  Legislature  by  the  Whig  party.  By  that  party  he  was  nominated 
Clerk  of  the  La  Grange  Circuit  Court  in  1852,  and  was  the  only  one  on  the 
Whig  ticket  elected.  He  was  re-elected  Clerk  on  the  Republican  ticket  in 
1856,  and  in  1860  was  elected  Clerk  of  the  Supreme  Court  of  Indiana.  He 
removed  to  Indianapolis  and  held  that  position  four  years,  and  in  1870  returned 
to  La  Grange.  In  1872,  he  was  elected  County  Recorder  of  La  Grange 
County,  and  re-elected  in  1876,  his  term  of  oflSce  expiring  November  10, 
1880,  making  for  Mr.  Jones  a  total  of  twenty-one  years  in  official  life.  He  is 
at  present  engaged  in  the  practice  of  law  in  La  Grange.  He  was  married  in 
1846  to  Miss  Aurelia  Fobes,  of  Lima,  Ind.,  and  to  them  have  been  born  six 
children,  five  of  whom  are  yet  living. 

J.  H.  LUTZ,  of  the  firm  of  Miller  &  Lutz,  was  born  near  Fort  Wayne, 
Ind.,  April  29,  1841  :  son  of  Abraham  Lutz,  who  was  born  in  Lancaster 
County,  Penn.,  in  1807.  Abraham  Lutz  removed  to  Washington  County,  Md., 
in  1813,  and  at  fifteen  began  learning  blacksmithing.  In  1835,  he  married 
Ann  Maria  Hunt ;  in  1837,  moved  to  Greene  County,  Ohio ;  in  1839,  to  Allen 
County,  Ind.,  where  he  worked  at  his  trade  and  farmed.  After  clearing  up 
a  farm,  he,  in  1868,  sold  out  and  moved  to  La  Grange,  where  he  died  Decem- 
ber 7,  1870,  His  widow  is  yet  living  in  La  Grange,  and  they  were  the  parents 
of  five  children,  all  living.  John  H.  Lutz  is  the  third.  He  was  reared  in 
Pleasant  Township,  Allen  County,  until  twenty  years  old,  and  in  1861  married 
Huldah  Beck.  He  worked  at  wagon  and  carriage  making,  and  in  1862  moved 
to  Fort  Wayne,  where  he  took  charge  of  the  finishing  department  of  an  agri- 
cultural shop.  His  wife  died  in  1864,  leaving  him  two  children — Wesley  and 
Henry,  both  deceased.  In  March,  1866,  he  married  Ellen  A.  Varner,  and  in 
1868  moved  to  La  Grange,  where  for  two  years  he  carried  on  wagon-making 
and  blacksmithing.  He  then  formed  a  partnership  with  J.  R.  Devoir,  in  the 
hardware  trade,  which  continued  four  years,  after  which  he  sold  agricultural 
implements  for  a  time.  In  1875,  he  entered  into  partnership  with  his  present 
partner,  J.  A.  Miller,  in  the  furniture  trade  and  undertaking.  Mr.  Lutz  is 
one  of  our  independent  politicians,  voting  in  all  cases  for  the  man  instead  of 
the  party.  He  is  a  member  of  the  I.  0.  0.  F.  and  Encampment  of  La  Grange, 
the  Masonic  fraternity  and  the  K.  of  H.  His  wife  is  a  member  of  the 
Lutheran  Church,  and  they  are  the  parents  of  two  children — Mary  B.  and 
Cary. 

ROBERT  McCLASKEY  is  the  next  oldest  in  a  family  of  seven  children. 
At  manhood  he  married  Hannah  Durnnell,  and  in  1844  immigrated  to  La 
Grange.  La  Grange  at  that  time  was  pretty  much  all  woods,  and  with  only  a 
few  houses.  He  traded  for  a  quarter-section  of  land  in  Bloomfied  Township, 
near  the  village,  built  a  cabin  in  town,  and  began  clearing  and  farming  his 
property.  He  was  in  very  moderate  circumstances,  and  the  hard  labor  all 
devolved  upon  him.  Of  the  160  acres  he  now  has,  one  hundred  were  cleared 
principally  through  his  own  exertions.  His  wife  died  in  January,  1849,  having 
borne  our  subject  five  daughters — Rachel,  deceased ;  Juliann,  Margaret  J., 
Sarah  R.  and  Nancy  A.  December  25,  1849,  he  married  his  present  wife, 
Mrs.  Hannah  (Humiston)  Durand,  who  came  to  La  Grange  County  in  1834. 
To  this  union  has  been  born  two  sons — Miles  R.  and  John  E.  By  her  first 
husband,  Amasa  Humiston,  Mrs.  McClaskey  had  nine  children,  viz.  :  Edgar 
R.,  Lucilla  E.,  Juliett,  Henry,  James,  Jason,  George,  Ira  and  Susan  Janette. 
Only  these  two  are  now  living — Ira,  who  is  in  California,  and  George,  avIio 
resides  in  La  Grange  County.     Mr.  McClaskey  is  an  enterprising  citizen,  and 


TOWN  OF  LA  GRANGE.  281 

has  always  favored  the  advancement  of  all  laudable  public  enterprises.  Polit- 
ically, Mr.  McClaskey  was  formerly  a  Whig,  tinctured  a  little  with  Free-Soilism. 
He  is  at  present  a  stanch  Republican,  while  his  wife  is  a  member  of  the  M.  E. 
Church. 

JAMES  H.  McKIBBEN  was  born  in  Richland  County,  Ohio, 
November  5,  1833,  son  of  James  and  Sarah  (Smith)  McKibben,  who  were 
parents  of  eight  children  and  early  settlers  of  Richland  County  Ohio.  The 
father  was  a  farmer,  and  in  1849  emigrated  to  this  county,  and  engaged  in 
farming.  In  1863,  moved  to  Goshen,  where  he  died,  December  10,  1876.  Mrs. 
McKibben  is  yet  living  at  that  place.  James  H.  McKibben  was  raised  a 
farmer,  and  was  married  March  13,  1856.  to  Eliza  R.  Sargent,  daughter  of 
Daniel  and  Maria  (Young)  Sargent,  who  came  to  La  Grange  County  from 
Cayuga  County,  N.  Y.,  in  1842,  and  were  among  the  early  settlers  of  Bloom- 
field  Township.  Mr.  McKibben  continued  farming  in  Bloomfield  Township 
until  August  6,  1862,  when  he  enlisted  in  Company  G,  Eighty-eigth  Regiment 
Indiana  Volunteer  Infantry.  He  participated  in  the  battles  of  Perry ville, 
Stone  River,  Chickamauga,  Mission  Ridge,  through  the  Atlanta  campaign,  and 
was  discharged  at  Indianapolis,  July  5,  1865.  Mr,  McKibben  returned  and 
engaged  in  farming,  at  which  he  continued  until  1876,  when  he  rented  his  farm 
and  retired.  He  is  a  Republican,  and  he  and  wife  are  members  of  the  M.  E. 
Church.  They  are  the  parents  of  two  daughters — Clara  and  Bertha  D.  Mrs. 
McKibben  was  born  in  Cayuga  County,  N.  Y.,  June  12,  1838.  Mr.  McKib- 
ben owns  a  farm  of  120  acres  in  Bloomfield  Township,  on  Section  32. 

FRANCIS  D.  MERRITT,  attorney  at  law,  was  born  October  17,  1849, 
in  Cass  County,  Mich.,  the  son  of  John  S.  Merritt,  whose  sketch  appears  in 
this  work.  He  removed  with  his  parents  to  Branch  County,  Mich.,  and  from 
there  to  La  Grange  County,  in  1860.  He  attended  the  schools  of  La  Grange, 
Orland  and  Coldwater,  and,  in  1872,  entered  Hillsdale  College.  The  latter 
part  of  1873,  he  read  law  under  James  Galloway,  Esq.,  of  Hillsdale,  after  which 
he  took  a  thorough  course  in  the  Law  Department  of  the  LTniversity  at  Ann 
Arbor,  graduating  in  1874,  Mr.  Merritt  then  went  to  Kansas  and  began 
practicing  his  profession,  but  in  March,  1875,  returned,  opened  an  office,  and 
resumed  the  practice.  In  1879,  he  formed  a  partnership  with  James  S.  Drake. 
Mr.  Merritt  is  a  Republican,  and  in  1878  was  elected  President  of  the  Town 
Board  of  Trustees,  He  was  married  January  3,  1877,  to  Miss  Margie  R,, 
daughter  of  John  and  Mary  (Will)  Rice. 

JOHN  S.  MERRITT  was  born  in  Onondaga  County,  N.  Y.,  May  6,  1823, 
and  when  two  years  old  emigrated  with  his  parents  to  Toledo,  Ohio,  where  he 
was  reared  and  educated.  Samuel  Merritt,  deceased,  father  of  John  S.,  was  a 
native  of  Orange  County,  N.  Y.,  his  parents  being  among  the  first  settlers  of 
that  county.  This  gentleman  was  three  times  married,  his  first  two  wives 
being  cousins  of  Gov.  Clinton,  of  New  York.  They  each  bore  him  three 
children,  our  subject  being  the  youngest  by  his  last  wife,  Nancy  W.  Saturly. 
Samuel  Merritt  came  to  Toledo  in  1825,  where  he  died.  In  1842,  John  S. 
Merritt  went  to  Cass  County,  Mich.,  and  engaged  in  agricultural  pursuits.  In 
1847,  he  married  Miss  Mary  Bull,  and  in  1852  removed  to  Branch  County, 
Mich.  Mrs.  Merritt  died  there  in  March,  1853,  leaving  one  son,  Francis  D., 
whose  biography  accompanies  this  work.  January  1,  1857,  Mr.  Merritt  mar- 
ried his  present  wife,  A.  H.  Spaulding,  daughter  of  Judge  T.  J.  Spaulding, 
and  in  1860  moved  to  this  county  and  purchased  a  farm  in  Greenfield  Town- 
ship, where  he  continued  farming  until  1866,  when  he  was  elected  County 


282  BIOGRAPHICAL    SKETCHES: 

Sheriff  by  the  Republicans,  and  moved  to  La  Grange.  After  his  term  of 
Sheriff  had  expired,  he  engaged  in  farming  until  1874,  when  he  took  part  in 
the  organization  of  the  First  National  Bank,  and  by  the  stockholders  was 
elected  President.  Since  that  time  Mr.  Merritt  has  been  engaged  in  banking, 
and  after  serving  three  and  a  half  years  as  President  was  elected  Vice  Presi- 
dent, a  position  he  still  holds.  To  his  union  with  Miss  Spaulding  were  born 
three  children — Mary,  Etta  and  John. 

JOHN  A.  MILLER,  furniture  dealer,  is  a  descendant  of  one  of  the  very 
first  settlers  in  La  Grange  County.  He  was  born  in  Greenfield  Township, 
September  16,  1836,  and  is  a  son  of  John  and  Naoma  (Barr)  Miller.  In  1829, 
the  family  of  Amos  Barr  and  John  Miller,  whose  wife  was  a  daughter  of  Amos 
Barr,  emigrated  from  Marion  County,  Ohio,  to  White  Pigeon,  Mich.,  where 
they  lived  until  the  next  season,  and  then  came  to  English  Prairie,  in  Green- 
field Township,  this  county,  and  laid  claim  to  land  there  not  then  in  market. 
In  1830,  they  moved  to  this  place,  and  were  among  the  county's  earliest  set- 
tlers. Mr.  Miller  died  the  spring  of  1837.  John  A.  Miller  passed  his  youth- 
ful days  on  the  old  farm,  doing  the  duties  of  a  pioneer  boy's  life.  In  1857,  he 
came  to  La  Grange  and  engaged  in  the  grocery  trade  a,bout  five  years.  In 
1864,  he  and  a  number  of  others  were  sent  South  by  the  Government  to  do  mechan- 
ical work,  and  on  this  expedition  he  learned  house  joining.  He  followed 
that  trade  until  1874,  when  ho,  together  with  William  H.  Jackson,  purchased 
the  furniture  stock  of  John  Rice,  and  engaged  in  a  general  furniture  trade  and 
undertaking.  In  about  a  year,  Mr.  Miller  retired  from  the  firm  and  engaged 
in  the  same  business  alone.  In  1875,  he  formed  a  partnership  with  his  present 
partner  under  the  firm  name  of  Miller  &  Lutz.  They  erected  their  present 
business  block  in  the  fall  of  1878.  Mr.  Miller  was  married  in  1862  to  Ellen 
M.  Kinney,  whose  parents  were  among  the  old  settlers  of  Lima  Township. 
To  this  marriage  there  were  born  four  children,  viz. :  Flora,  Emma,  Frank  and 
Libbie.     Mr,  Miller  is  a  Republican  and  a  member  of  the  Knights  of  Honor. 

SOLOMON  C.  MILLER,  was  born  in  St.  Joseph  County,  Ind.,  Febru- 
ary 22,  1840,  and  is  a  son  of  David  and  Louisa  (Connor)  Miller,  natives 
respectively  of  Pennsylvania  and  Ireland.  David  Miller  was  one  of  the 
earliest  pioneers  of  St.  Joseph  County,  Ind.,  settling  at  South  Bend  when 
there  were  only  two  business  houses  in  the  place.  He  was  a  farmer  and  also  a 
minister  of  the  Dunkard  denomination.  He  entered  land  in  St.  Joseph  County 
and  remained  there  until  his  death,  which  occurred  at  North  Liberty,  November 
28,  1876.  Solomon  C.  Miller  received  a  good  education  and  passed  his  youth 
on  the  home  farm.  In  1861,  he  enrolled  in  Company  F,  Twenty-ninth  Indiana 
Volunteer  Infantry,  and  served  until  the  fall  of  1862,  when  he  was  mustered  out 
at  Nashville,  Tenn.  After  his  return  he  clerked  in  a  grocery  and  dry  goods 
store  at  South  Bend  for  about  two  and  a  half  years,  since  which  time  he  has 
principally  been  eagaged  in  the  restaurant  business  at  Detroit  and  Allegan, 
Mich.,  and  Elkhart  and  La  Grange,  Ind.  Of  the  last-named  place  he  has  been 
a  resident  seven  years.  He  was  married.  May  10,  1868,  to  Miss  M.  McCor- 
mick,  who  was  born  in  Allegan,  Mich.,  August  5,  1852.  She  is  a  daughter  of 
John  P.  and  Josephine  McCormick,  the  former  a  native  of  Virginia  and  the 
latter  of  New  York.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Miller  have  a  family  of  four  children, 
Maud  E.,  Edna  J.,  Claude  D.  and  Oral  L.  Mr.  Miller  is  an  experienced 
hunter,  and  makes  annual  hunting  excursions  to  Michigan  and  the  West. 

S.  D.  MOON  was  born  in  the  State  of  New  York  April  19,  1834;  son 
of  Salma  and  Caroline  (Morton)  Moon,  who  were  parents  of  eight  children. 


TOWN  OF  LA  GRANGE.  283 

seven  of  whom  are  now  living.  The  mother  died  in  1863,  but  the  father  is  yet 
living  and  resides  in  Wayne  County,  Mich.  S.  D.  Moon,  when  but  an  infant, 
came  with  his  parents  to  Wayne  County,  Mich.,  where  he  continued  to  reside, 
farming  until  1866,  when  he  moved  to  Kent  County,  Mich.  Subsequently,  he 
moved  to  La  Grange,  and  formed  a  partnership  with  his  brother,  Charles  K., 
in  the  manufacture  of  wagons  and  carriages,  and  wagon  and  carriage  wood 
stock.  In  1870,  Samuel  Parker  was  admitted  into  the  partnership,  which  then 
became  Moon,  Bro.  &  Co.  In  1874,  Charles  R.  Moon  retired  from  the  firm 
which  then  became  Moon  &  Co.  In  1879,  Mr.  Parker  withdrew,  leaving  Mr. 
Moon  alone.  Mr.  Moon,  does  an  average  annual  business  of  from  $5,000  to 
$6,000.  He  is  a  Republican,  and  he  and  wife  are  members  of  the  Methodist 
Episcopal  Church.  He  was  married  in  1855  to  Sarah  J.  Dalrymple,  and  to 
them  have  been  born  two  children — Adolphus  D.  and  Eddie  C,  both  of  whom 
are  now  dead.     Mrs.  Moon  was  born  July  15,  1837,  in  VVavne  County,  Mich. 

JACOB  NEWMAN  was  born  in  Richland  County,  "Ohio,  October  15, 
1832  ;  son  of  Henry  and  Jane  (Ward)  Newman,  natives  of  Pennsylvania  and 
England,  respectively,  and  parents  of  eight  children,  five  only  of  whom  are 
living.  He  is  a  grandson  of  Jacob  and  Catharine  (Freyraeyer)  Newman,  his 
grandfiither  being  the  first  settler  in  Richland  County,  Ohio,  and  the  founder 
of  the  city  of  Mansfield.  Jacob  Newman,  when  seventeen  years  old,  moved 
with  his  parents  to  Williams  County,  Ohio.  At  the  age  of  twenty-one,  he 
returned  to  Mansfield,  and  for  a  year  engaged  in  clerking.  The  firm  by  whom 
he  was  .employed  and  John  Will  purchased  a  stock  of  goods,  and  in  1851  sent 
them  to  La  Grange  in  charge  of  Mr.  Newman,  who  remained  with  them  a  little 
over  two  years.  From  1856  to  1858,  he  was  in  partnership  with  Maj.  Bingham 
in  a  general  store,  which  was  built  by  them.  In  1857,  Mr.  Newman  married 
Isabel  Menelaus,  who  died  in  1860,  leaving  one  son — John  H.  In  October, 
1861,  he  enlisted  in  Company  H,  Forty-fourth  Indiana  Volunteer  Infantry, 
and  was  elected  Second  Lieutenant  of  his  company.  At  the  battle  of  Shiloh, 
April  6,  while  he  was  in  the  thickest  of  the  fight,  and  during  one  of  the  most 
hotly  contested  engagements  of  the  day,  the  color-bearer  and  supporter  were 
shot  down  at  the  same  time,  and  two  others  who  immediately  raised  the  colors 
were  also  shot  down  and  the  flag  riddled  with  balls.  Lieut.  Newman  bore  it 
aloft  but  soon  fell,  mortally  wounded,  as  was  then  supposed,  and  has  never  fully 
recovered  from  his  wounds.  During  the  remainder  of  the  war,  he  was  Deputy 
Provost  Marshal  and  had  charge  of  the  enlistment  roll.  The  Republican  party 
elected  him  County  Treasurer  in  1861,  and  re-elected  him  in  1866.  In  1869, 
he  went  into  business  with  S.  K.  Ruick,  and  in  1871  he  engaged  in  the  marble 
trade  with  L.  C.  Wood;  in  1873,  formed  a  partnership  with  H.  J.  Piatt,  which 
has  continued  successfully.  The  son  by  his  first  marriage  died  in  1862,  and 
Mr.  Newman  married  his  present  wife,  Mary  Menelaus,  in  1863.  To  this 
union  were  born  Mary,  Jennie,  Grace,  Henry  and  Carl.  Of  these  only  Jennie 
and  Carl  are  now  living.  Mr.  Newman  had  two  brothers  who  served  in  the 
Thirty-eighth  Ohio  Volunteer  Infantry,  one  of  whom  was  killed. 

DR.  J.  P.  NIMAN,  one  of  La  Grange's  oldest  physicians,  was  born  De- 
cember 7,  1828,  in  Mansfield,  Ohio,  the  son  of  Henry  and  Harriet  (Greer) 
Niman,  who  were  parents  of  eight  children.  His  youthful  days  were  passed  at 
home  on  the  farm  of  his  parents,  and  his  educational  advantages  consisted  in 
self-instruction  at  night-time.  At  his  majority,  he  went  to  Henry  County.  Iowa, 
on  a  business  visit.  While  there,  he  met  and,  in  September,  1849,  married 
Laura  Dennison,  after  which  he  returned  to  Ohio  and  continued  the  study  ol 


284  BIOGRAPHICAL  SKETCHES: 

medicine  in  Richland  and  Crawford  Counties.  In  September,  1852,  he  emi- 
grated with  his  family  to  La  Grange,  where  he  began  the  practice  of  his  profes- 
sion. His  wife  died  in  1857,  leaving  three  children — Josephine,  Laura  and 
Charles  H.  In  1858,  Dr.  Niman  married  his  second  wife,  Emily  Oliver,  and 
the  same  year  removed  to  Missouri.  In  January,  1862,  he  entered  the  employ 
of  the  United  States  Government  as  physician  and  surgeon,  but  after  about  six 
months'  service  his  wife  died  and  he  resigned.  In  1862,  he  returned  to  La 
Grange  and  resumed  his  practice.  To  his  marriage  with  his  present  wife,  Jane 
Plats,  there  have  been  born  three  children — Alton,  Jonas  and  George  T.  Dr. 
Niman  is  at  present  in  partnership  with  his  son,  Charles  H.,  who  graduated 
from  the  medical  school  at  Bellevue,  New  York  City,  in  1879.  Dr.  Niman, 
Sr.,  is  a  Republican,  and  one  of  the  prominent  citizens  whose  portraits  appear 
in  this  work. 

T.  F.  FERINE  was  born  July  3,  1844,  in  Lawrenceburg,  Ind.,  one  of  six 
children.  His  parents,  P.  R.  and  Mary  E.  (Tucker)  Ferine,  moved  to  Indian- 
apolis, when  he  was  but  a  child,  where  they  are  yet  living.  T.  F.  Ferine  was 
reared  and  educated  in  Indianapolis.  At  the  age  of  seventeen,  having  twice  be- 
fore made  the  attempt,  he  ran  away,  and,  August  9,  1862,  enlisted  in  Company 
I,  Sixty-third  Indiana  Volunteer  Infantry.  He  participated  in  the  engagements 
of  Rocky  Face  Ridge,  Burnt  Hickory,  Resaca,  Cartersville,  Marietta  and  Ken- 
esaw  Mountain,  and  in  numerous  skirmishes.  He  was  shot  by  a  rebel  sharp- 
shooter, from  the  effects  of  which  he  lost  all  the  muscles  of  his  left  hip  and  is 
still  a  sufferer  from  the  wound.  Shortly  after  his  enlistment,  he  was  appointed 
special  detective  at  Gen.  Carrington's  headquarters,  at  Indianapolis,  and  for 
eighteen  months  was  engaged  in  arresting  rebel  abettors  and  in  breaking  up 
meetings  of  the  Knights  of  the  Golden  Circle.  He  had  command  of  the  troops 
at  Indianapolis,  and  traveled  over  the  State  in  the  discharge  of  his  duty.  For 
three  years  each  he  resided  in  Chicago  and  Cincinnati  in  the  real  estate  busi- 
ness. In  1874,  he  came  to  La  Grange,  soon  afterward  entering  the  County 
Recorder's  office  as  Deputy  ;  after  which,  he  commenced  the  insurance  business 
and  the  prosecution  of  pension  claims.  He  was  married  in  September,  1868, 
to  Miss  Mary  E.  Jones,  daughter  of  John  Paul  Jones.  To  their  marriage  have 
been  born  three  children — Ida  Mav,  Perrie  R.  and  Ethel. 

JOHN  M.  PRESTON  was  born  in  Lordstown,  Trumbull  County,  Ohio, 
December  29,  1836,  the  son  of  James  and  Mary  (Matthews)  Preston,  who  were 
of  Scotch  and  Irish  descent  respectively  and  the  parents  of  eight  children. 
The  mother  died  when  he  was  fifteen  years  old,  and  his  father  remarrying,  they 
came  to  Bloomfield  Township,  this  county,  in  1854,  where  the  father  is  yet  living. 
On  the  28th  of  July,  1862,  John  M.  enlisted  in  Company  G,  Eighty-eighth 
Indiana  Volunteer  Infantry.  He  was  shortly  after  appointed  Sergeant  Major; 
February  18,  1863,  was  commissioned  Second  Lieutenant.  For  efficient  serv- 
ices, he  was  promoted  Captain  of  his  company  on  the  1st  of  September,  1864. 
Capt.  Preston  participated  actively  in  the  engagements  of  Perryville,  Stone 
River,  Chickamauga,  Lookout  Mountain,  Missionary  Ridge  and  through  the 
Atlanta  campaign  of  1864.  He  was  mustered  out  in  June,  1865,  and  returned 
to  La  Grange,  where  he  engaged  in  mercantile  pursuits.  March  27,  1860,  he 
married  Maria  Sargent,  and  in  1868  removed  to  Missouri,  but  in  1873  returned 
to  La  Grange  and  engaged  in  the  insurance  business.  Mr.  Preston  is  a  Repub- 
lican, and  by  that  party  was  elected  Clerk  of  the  town  of  La  Grange  in  1878 
and  re-elected  in  1879.  The  fall  of  1880,  he  was  elected  Treasurer  of  La 
Grange  County,  in  which  capacity  he  is  now  serving.     He  and  wife  are  parents 


TOWN  OF  LA  GRANGE.  285 

of  four  children — Anna  Bell,  Grace  M.  (deceased),  Maud  B.  and  Daisy  B. 
Mrs.  Preston  is  a  daughter  of  Daniel  and  Maria  (Young)  Sargent,  -who  were 
old  settlers  of  La  Grange  County,  and  is  a  member  of  the  M.  E.  Church. 

MAJ.  JOHN  H.  RERICK,  editor  and  proprietor  of  the  La  Grange 
Standard^  was  born,  "February  4,  1830,  in  Tippecanoe  County,  this  State,  the 
son  of  Henry  and  Elizabeth  (Lamb)  Rerick,  natives  respectively  of  New  York 
and  Indiana,  the  mother  of  English  and  the  father  of  German  descent.  The 
latter  died  in  1876,  in  the  seventy-second  year  of  his  age.  John  H.,  at  the 
age  of  fifteen,  began  teaching  school  during  winters.  In  1851,  he  entered  the 
Medical  Department  of  the  Michigan  University  at  Ann  Arbor,  and  graduated 
March  1,  1853.  He  then  commenced  the  practice  of  his  profession  at  Sump- 
tion Prairie,  St.  Joseph  County,  Ind.,  to  which  place  his  father's  family  had 
previously  removed.  December  2,  1853,  he  married  Miss  Elizabeth  Green,  of 
Sumption  Prairie.  The  following  spring  he  moved  to  Fort  Wayne,  where  he 
was  efiiciently  active  during  the  cholera  plague  of  the  following  season.  Jan- 
uary 20,  1855,  his  wife  died,  leaving  an  infant  son,  Louis,  born  January  6. 
The  following  spring  he  removed  to  South  Bend,  where  the  child  died  July  27. 
In  the  fall  he  went  to  Elkhart  and  was  married.  May  1,  1856,  to  Miss  Maria- 
nette  Devor.  In  1859,  he  removed  to  La  Grange.  Here,  at  the  commencement 
of  the  war  of  the  rebellion,  the  doctor  became  active  in  the  enlistment  of  soldiers, 
writing  the  first  enrollment  paper,  which  he  now  has  in  his  possession,  with  the 
signatures  of  those  enlisting.  In  August,  1861,  he  enlisted  in  the  Thirtieth  In- 
diana Infantry,  but  was  soon  commissioned  as  Assistant  Surgeon  of  the  Forty- 
fourth  Regiment.  This  command  took  the  field  in  Kentucky,  where  the  Doctor 
was  left  in  charge  of  the  sick  at  Calhoun,  but  joined  his  command  the  1st 
of  March,  1862,  near  Fort  Henry,  participating  in  the  two  days'  battle  of  Pitts- 
burg Landing,  notwithstanding  he  was  wounded  the  first  day.  He  accompa- 
nied his  regiment  to  Corinth,  Booneville  and  to  luka,  Miss.,  where  he  was  taken 
sick  and  sent  home  for  a  month.  Joining  his  command,  he  participated  in  its 
movements  and  took  part  in  the  battle  of  Stone  River.  In  February,  1863,  he 
was  again  sent  home  hopelessly  ill,  but  recovered  sufficiently  to  enable  him  to 
return  the  1st  of  April.  In  October,  1863,  he  was  commissioned  Surgeon  of 
his  regiment,  which  took  part  in  the  sanguinary  battle  of  Chickamauga.  Here 
the  Doctor  displayed  enei'gy  and  judicious  management  in  removing  the  wounded 
from  the  field-hospital  and  saving  them  from  capture  by  the  enemy.  He  served 
at  Chattanooga  until  the  close  of  the  war  and  was  mustered  out  in  September, 
1865.  The  Doctor's  war  record  is  a  bright  page  in  his  history.  Entering  as  a 
private,  promoted  to  Assistant  Surgeon,  then  Surgeon,  and  serving  four  years 
with  the  command  with  which  he  entered  the  field,  complimented  by  his  com- 
manding officers,  form  a  brilliant  career.  Returning  to  La  Grange,  he  resumed 
the  practice  of  medicine  with  Dr.  E.  G.  White.  In  1867,  he  purchased  the 
Standard  and  entered  upon  his  editorial  duties.  His  politics  are  thoroughly 
Republican,  and  by  that  party  was  elected,  in  1868,  Clerk  of  the  Circuit  Court 
and  re-elected,  serving  eight  years.  He  was  one  of  the  founders  and  is  now 
President  of  the  Island  Park  Assembly  Association,  which  has  its  grounds  at 
Rome  City.  He  is  a  member  of  the  I.  0.  0.  F.  and  he  and  his  wife  are  mem- 
bers of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church.  They  have  three  sons — Rowland  H., 
born  February  5,  1857;  John  D.,  July  1,  1860;  and  Carl,  July  4,  1868. 

EDWARD  ROYER  was  born  in  Stark  County,  Ohio,  September  3, 
1836,  a  son  of  Jacob  and  Mary  (Michael)  Royer,  now  dead.  Edward  Royer 
was  reared  a  farmer,  receiving  a  common-school  education.     When  nineteen 


286  BIOGRAPHICAL    SKETCHES: 

years  old,  he  began  learning  the  harness  maker's  trade  at  Uniontown.  In  1859, 
he  came  to  Indiana ;  in  1860,  he  entered  the  employ  of  the  Government  as 
manufacturer,  at  Pittsburgh.  In  August,  1862,  he  enlisted  in  Company  E,  One 
Hundred  and  Fifteenth  Ohio  Volunteer  Infantry;  was  discharged  July  7, 
1865,  at  Cleveland.  August  24,  1865,  he  was  married  to  Miss  Lucy  Sum- 
mers, daughter  of  John  and  Martha  (Lee)  Summers,  of  Covington,  Ky.  Mr. 
Royer  at  once  moved  to  La  Grange,  where  for  two  years  he  worked  a  journey- 
man at  his  trade,  and  in  the  winter  of  1867  established  himself  in  business. 
He  and  wife  united  with  the  M.  E.  Church  in  1865,  and  in  that  year  Mr. 
Royer  assisted  in  the  organization  of  the  I.  0.  G.  T.  He  is  also  a  member  of 
the  I.  0.  0.  F.  of  La  Grange.  He  and  wife  are  parents  of  three  children — 
Edward  H.,  born  November  30,  1870,  died  February  23,  1881  ;  Frank  L., 
born  September  8,  1874,  and  Mattie  B.,  born  September  10,  1878,  and  died 
September  12,  1879.  The  mother  was  born  near  Covington,  Ky.,  May  5, 
1841. 

S.  K.  RUICK  is  a  native  of  Guernsey  County,  Ohio,  where  he  was  born 
August  20,  1830,  the  son  of  Daniel  and  Mary  Ruick.  S.  K.  Ruick  was 
reared  in  Hebron,  Ohio,  until  nineteen  years  of  age,  and  in  1849,  he  visited 
relatives  at  Lima ;  then  returned  to  Ohio,  settled  up  his  affairs  and  came  again 
to  Lima  and  engaged  in  the  stock  business.  Through  the  summer  of  1853,  he 
was  in  the  employ  of  Knott  &  Hubbard,  in  a  general  store ;  he  then  took 
charge,  for  a  year,  of  a  store  in  La  Grange  for  Mr.  Knott ;  was  then  in  part- 
nership with  R.  S.  Hubbard  three  years.  In  1857,  this  firm,  with  Bingham  k 
Newman,  erected  the  block  now  owned  by  John  Will,  on  the  corner  south- 
■east  of  the  public  square.  After  the  dissolution  of  the  firm  of  Hubbard  & 
Ruick,  in  1857,  Mr.  Ruick  opened  a  dry  goods  store,  but  shortly  afterward 
sold  out.  The  spring  of  1859,  he  erected  another  store  building,  and  again 
engaged  in  the  dry  goods  trade.  In  1861,  he  sold  his  entire  business  interests 
in  La  Grange  to  Jewett,  Morrison  &  Hill,  and  went  to  New  York  City,  where 
for  two  and  a  half  years  he  was  employed  selling  goods.  In  1864,  he  and  fam- 
ily moved  to  Toledo,  Ohio,  where  Mr.  Ruick  became  a  partner  in  a  wholesale 
grocery  house.  He  continued  there  until  1865,  when  he  removed  back  to  La 
G-range  and  engaged  in  farming.  The  fall  of  1869,  he  and  Jacob  Newman 
engaged  in  the  dry  goods  trade,  but  Mr.  Newman's  health  failing  shortly  after- 
ward he  withdrew.  In  1870,  Mr.  Ruick  erected  the  warehouse  near  the  depot, 
and  went  into  the  produce  and  commission  business.  In  1873,  he  and  William 
Hudson  formed  a  partnership  in  the  lumber  trade,  and  the  same  year  erected 
the  La  Grange  Flouring  Mills.  In  January,  1875,  the  partnership  was  dis- 
solved, Mr.  Ruick  continuing  the  lumber  business  for  about  two  years,  when  he 
formed  a  partnership  with  his  son.  In  1877,  they  erected  the  planing-mill, 
which  they  operated  until  1879,  when  the  firm  was  dissolved.  Since  that  time 
Mr.  Ruick  has  been  operating  in  real  estate.  He  was  married  in  January, 
1852,  to  Lucy  A.  Kinney,  and  they  are  the  parents  of  three  living  children — 
Frank  D.,  Flora  M.  and*^Etta  E. 

J.  M.  SHACKLETON  was  born  August  6,  1852,  in  St.  Catharines, 
Ont.,  of  Francis  and  Fanny  (Johnson)  Shackleton,  who  were  parents  of  nine 
■children.  Francis  Shackleton  was  born  in  Wales,  and  there  reared  to  manhood. 
When  twenty-one  years  old,  he  emigrated  to  Canada,  where  he  engaged  in  the 
milling  business,  and  married  our  subject's  mother.  In  1867,  he  came  to 
Ypsilanti,  Mich.,  and  still  continued  milling  until  May  7,  1880,  when  he  was 
killed  by  an  accident  in  his  mill.     His  wife  died  in  1869,  and  he  afterward 


TOWN  OF  LA  GRANGE.  287 

married  Harriet  Lester.  J.  M.  Shackleton  began  milling  for  himself  at  the 
age  of  eighteen,  in  Northville,  Mich.  In  December,  1872,  he  returned  to  St. 
Catharines  and  entered  the  grocery  trade,  but  owing  to  the  financial  panic, 
failed.  He  then  went  to  Eastern  Michigan  and  recommenced  his  trade.  In 
1878,  he  came  to  La  Grange,  and  was  employed  in  the  mill  he  now  owns  for 
about  six  months,  after  which  he  went  to  Independence,  Mo, ;  but  at  the  end  of 
eight  months  returned,  and  for  a  period  of  about  eighteen  months  had  charge  of  the 
Rome  City  Flouring  Mills.  In  1881,  he  formed  a  partnership  in  La  Grange, 
under  the  firm  name  of  Shackleton  &  Beach,  and  the  fall  of  that  year  purchased 
the  La  Grange  Mills.  Mr.  Shackleton  was  married  in  1875  to  Mary  More- 
house, and  they  are  the  parents  of  one  daughter — Lela  M.  Mr.  Shackleton  is 
a  member  of  the  Baptist  Church,  and  a  Republican.  Mrs.  Shackleton  is  a  mem- 
ber of  the  M.  E.  Church. 

SAMUEL  SHEPARDSON,  County  Auditor,  is  a  son  of  Otis  and  Susann 
(Gibbs)  Shepardson,  who  were  natives  of  the  "  Green  Mountain  State,"  and 
the  parents  of  seven  children.  About  the  year  1835,  they  emigrated  to  this 
county,  locating  in  Springfield  Township,  then  an  almost  unbroken  wilderness, 
thus  becoming  early  pioneers.  Here  the  father  died  in  1844,  and  the  mother 
in  1880.  Samuel  Shepardson  was  born  in  Springfield  Township  March 
19,  1839,  and  received  a  good  education.  September  24,  1861,  he 
enlisted  in  Company  G,  Thirtieth  Indiana  Volunteer  Infantry,  as  private, 
and  was  discharged  as  Sergeant,  September  29,  1864.  He  participated  in  the 
battles  of  Shiloh,  Stone  River,  Chickamauga,  and  in  the  Atlanta  cam- 
paign. He  was  taken  prisoner  at  Stone  River  December  31,  1862,  and  re- 
mained in  rebel  hands  at  Knoxville  and  Libby  three  months,  after  which  he 
was  paroled  and  exchanged.  He  returned  home,  and  January  1,  1868,  he 
and  Miss  Martha  J.  Huss  were  married.  She  is  a  daughter  of  Elijah  and 
Phebe  (Hutchins)  Huss,  and  was  born  June  5,  1849.  They  have  had  two 
children — Kit  C.  and  Ella  P.  In  1868,  Mr.  Shepardson  began  working  at  the 
carpenter's  trade,  and  in  that  year  was  elected  County  Treasurer  as  a  Repub- 
lican. In  1870,  he  was  re-elected,  serving  four  years.  In  1874,  he  was  elected 
County  Auditor,  and  having  been  re-elected,  is  now  serving  his  second  term  of 
four  years.  Mr.  Shepardson's  career  in  private  life,  and  as  a  soldier  and  a 
county  official,  stamps  him  as  a  representative  citizen,  and  the  appreciation  of 
his  sterling  worth  by  the  people  of  the  county  is  shown  in  their  continuing  him 
in  official  position. 

DRS.  W.  H.  and  J.  L.  SHORT,  physicians  and  surgeons,  sons  of 
Thomas  Short,  of  Eden  Township.  The  father  was  born  in  Pennsylvania 
April  8,  1820.  His  parents,  James  and  Frances  (Gilbert)  Short,  were  natives 
of  Ireland,  and  when  but  a  boy  he  came  with  them  to  Ohio,  where  his  father 
died.  In  1841,  he  came  west  on  foot,  and  purchased  eighty  acres  of  land  in 
Eden  Township,  and  upon  which  he  effected  a  permanent  settlement  the  same 
year;  and  January  13,  1842,  married  Margaret  Larimer,  who  died  September 
28,  1877,  the  mother  of  eleven  children,  nine  of  whom  are  yet  living.  Mr. 
Short  married  his  present  wife,  Mrs.  Mary  Murray,  in  1880.  He  is  a  Demo- 
crat, and  a  member  of  the  Presbyterian  Church.  Dr.  William  H.  Short  was 
reared  a  farmer.  He  attended  the  Collegiate  Institute  at  Ontario  two  years, 
and  was  one  year  at  Adrian,  Mich.  He  read  medicine  under  Dr.  Bartlett 
Larimer — his  mother's  brother — and  attended  his  first  course  of  lectures  at  Ann 
Arbor  the  winter  of  1866-67.  He  graduated  the  term  of  1868-69,  after 
which  he  came  to   La   Grange,   where   he   has  since  practiced  his  profession. 


288  BIOGRAPHICAL  SKETCHES: 

Dr.  John  L.  Short,  a  native  of  Eden  Township,  finished  his  literary  educa- 
tion at  Ontario.  He  began  the  study  of  medicine,  in  1867,  under  Dr.  Larimer. 
The  season  of  1868-69,  he  took  a  course  of  lectures  at  Ann  Arbor,  and  graduated 
from  that  college  the  winter  of  1872-73.  The  next  year  he  studied  with  his 
brother,  and  the  winter  of  1874  attended  a  course  of  lectures  at  the  Miami 
Medical  College  and  Hospital  in  Cincinnati.  While  in  Ann  Arbor,  he  received 
a  special  diploma  on  Physical  Diagnosis.  He  and  brother  are  well  schooled  in 
their  profession,  and  command  a  lucrative  practice. 

ALBERT  F.  SKEER,  mechanic,  was  born  in  Butler  County,  Penn.,  March 
29,  1834,  son  of  Eli  and  Mary  A.  (Dugan)  Skeer  (see  biography  of  Thomas  J. 
Skeer).  Albert  F.,  in  1850,  removed  to  Hebron,  Licking  Co.,  Ohio,  learned 
the  cabinet-maker's  trade  with  his  brother  Thomas  J.,  and  in  1852  purchased 
his  brother's  interest  in  the  business,  after  which  he  continued  it  alone  for  six 
years.  In  1858,  he  came  to  La  Grange,  where  he  has  worked  at  carpentering. 
Mr.  Skeer  is  a  skilled  workman,  and  has  erected  some  of  the  finest  buildings  in 
this  and  adjoining  counties.  For  two  years  he  was  engaged  on  the  new  court 
house  in  La  Grange,  during  which  time  he  lost  only  seven  working  days.  He 
has  been  for  many  years  a  member  of  Meridian  Sun  Lodge,  No.  76,  A.,  F.  & 
A.  M..,  of  which  he  has  been  W.  M.,  and  at  present  is  its  Treasurer.  He 
served  in  both  the  J.  W.  and  S.  W.  stations,  and  has  also  represented  his  lodge 
at  the  Grand  Lodge.  Mr.  Skeer  was  married  December  25, 1855,  to  Hannah  C. 
Brown,  a  native  of  Licking  County,  Ohio,  one  of  six  children  born  to  Peter  and 
Hannah  (Flinn)  Brown,  both  natives  of  Virginia.  Mr.  Skeer  and  wife  are 
parents  of  seven  living  children — William  H.,  Thomas  K.,  Adolphus  G., 
George  P.,  Albert  F.,  Carrie  B.  and  Harry.     Mr.  Skeer  is  a  Democrat. 

THOMAS  J.  SKEER  was  born  in  the  "Keystone  State,"  March  28, 
1818,  one  of  nine  children  born  to  Eli  and  Mary  A.  (Dugan)  Skeer,  seven  of 
whom  are  living.  Thomas  J.  Skeer  received  but  an  average  education  in  youth, 
and  early  in  life  learned  the  carpenter's  trade,  which  was  also  his  father's.  In 
1840,  he  went  to  Hebron,  Licking  County,  Ohio,  where  he  engaged  in  carpen- 
tering, cabinet-making  and  undertaking.  In  December,  1846,  he  was  married  to 
Sarah  Taggart,  who  was  born  in  New  Jersey  April  10,  1819.  In  May,  1856, 
Mr.  Skeer  removed  to  La  Grange.  He  has  been  employed  over  La  Grange 
and  neighboring  counties  in  the  erection  of  some  of  the  finest  buildings.  For 
a  number  of  years,  he  has  been  employed  in  Chicago  during  the  summer  months, 
and  during  the  war  was  employed  at  his  trade  in  the  South  by  the  Government. 
He  and  wife  have  had  born  to  them  six  children — Frances,  John,  Thomas, 
Belle,  James  and  Florence.  Mr.  Skeer  is  one  of  the  reading  citizens  of  La 
Grange,  and  is  enterprising  and  thoroughgoing. 

WILLIAM  S.  SMITH,  dentist,  is  a  native  of  Licking  County,  Ohio, 
where  he  was  born  September  10,  1850.  He  is  the  son  of  Harrison  and 
Margaret  Smith,  the  former  of  whom  was  born  in  Wheeling,  W.  Va., 
October  16,  1816,  and  the  latter  in  Licking  County,  Ohio,  May  8,  1825.  The 
subject  came  with  his  parents  to  La  Grange,  Ind.,  in  the  fall  of  1858,  where  he 
has  since  remained,  with  the  exception  of  eighteen  months,  during  which  time 
he  was  engaged  in  practicing  dentistry  at  White  Pigeon,  Mich.,  returning  to 
La  Grange  on  the  1st  of  January,  187  9.  Mr.  Smith  first  began  the  pursuit 
of  his  present  vocation  in  the  fall  of  1875,  and,  although,  quite  a  young  man, 
by  careful  attention  to  business,  he  has  built  up  a  large  and  lucrative  practice. 
He  is  the  only  resident  dentist  of  La  Grange,  and  his  oflice  is  located  on  the 
corner  of  Detroit  and  Spring  streets. 


TOWN  OF  LA  GRANGE.  289 

J.  FRANK  SNYDER,  editor  La  Grange  Democrat,  is  a  native  of  Richland 
Oountj,  Ohio,  and  was  born  December  14, 1851.  He  is  a  son  of  David  and  Leigh 
(Browneller)  Snyder,  who  were  what  is  known  as  Pennsylvania  Dutch,  but  of 
German  descent.  The  father  died  in  1872,  but  the  mother  is  yet  living,  and 
resides  in  Kosciusko  County,  Ind.  They  were  parents  of  nine  children.  J.  F. 
Snyder  came  with  his  parents  to  Kosciusko  County  in  1852,  and  was  there 
raised  on  a  farm  to  manhood.  He  attended  the  district  schools  of  his  neigh- 
borhood and  finished  his  literary  education  in  the  high  school  at  Pierceton. 
From  the  time  he  was  sixteen  years  old,  he  taught  school  winters,  and  worked 
on  the  farm  summers,  until  1873,  when  he  entered  the  employ  of  the  Pittsburgh, 
Fort  Wayne  &  Chicago  Railroad  in  the  capacities  of  station  agent  and  telegraph 
operator.  In  1876,  he  connected  himself  with  the  Columbia  City  Post  as  local 
editor  and  general  assistant.  After  nine  months,  he  severed  his  connection 
with  that  periodical,  and  in  April,  1877,  established  the  Princeton  Free  Press. 
In  September,  1878,  he  started  the  Adams  County  Union,  at  Decatur,  and  in  No- 
vember, 1879,  he  moved  to  La  Grange  and  established  the  La  Grange  Demo- 
crat. [See  History  of  the  Press  of  La  Grange  County.]  Mr.  Snyder  was  married 
in  September,  1877,  to  Gertrude  Hoover,  and  he  and  wife  are  members  of  the 
Methodist  Episcopal  Church.  Mr.  Snyder  is  a  Democrat,  and  a  member  of  the 
I.  0.  0.  F.  of  La  Grange. 

EDWARD  B.  SPEED,  M.  D.  (deceased),  was  a  son  of  Henry  Speed,  and 
was  born  at  Troy,  N.  Y.,  September  7,  1825.  He  learned  the  carpenter's  trade 
when  a  young  man,  and  afterward  taught  school  to  pay  his  way  through  medi- 
cal college  at  Geneva,  N.  Y.,  from  which  he  graduated,  and  then  practiced  in 
his  native  State  eighteen  months.  The  fall  of  1856,  he  was  united  in  marriage 
with  Esther  M.  Cornell,  and  the  next  spring  came  to  this  town,  where  he  soon 
obtained  a  large  and  lucrative  practice.  Dr.  Speed,  in  1864,  was  commissioned 
Assistant  Surgeon  of  the  Forty-fourth  Indiana  Volunteer  Infantry.  Soon  after 
his  arrival  at  the  front,  he  was  taken  ill  with  a  complication  of  disorders,  which 
resulted  in  his  death.  He  was  an  honored  and  respected  citizen,  a  member  of 
the  M.  E.  Church  and  the  I.  0.  0.  F.,  and  a  Republican  in  politics.  Mrs. 
Speed,  the  widow,  was  born  January  3,  1832,  and  to  her  marriage  with  Dr. 
Speed  were  born  two  children — Alice  I.  and  Emma  E.  Under  Gen., Grant's 
administration  in  1869,  Mrs.  Speed  was  appointed  Postmistress  of  La  Grange, 
a  position  which  she  has  since  retained  with  satisfaction,  assisted  by  her  brother, 
C.  G.  Cornell,  as  Deputy. 

NELSON  STACY,  ex-Sheriflf.  Wareham  Stacy  was  a  native  of  Vermont, 
and  a  widower  with  six  children  at  the  time  of  his  marriage  with  Mrs.  Sabra 
Bennett,  a  widow,  also  with  six  children ;  she  was  a  native  of  the  State  of  New 
York,  and  to  them  was  born  one  son,  the  subject  of  this  sketch.  The  father 
was  a  farmer,  and  died  November  14,  1850,  followed  by  his  widow  August  28, 
1865.  Nelson  Stacy  was  born  November  29,  1829,  in  Clark  County,  Ohio. 
He  was  raised  a  farmer.  In  1850,  he  came  to  this  county,  where  two  half-broth- 
ers were  living,  and  April  15,  1852,  married  Laura  R.  Anderson,  daughter  of 
John  and  Mary  (Gage)  Anderson,  who  were  among  the  early  settlers  of  Steuben 
County.  Mr.  Stacy  then  farmed  in  Lima  Township,  where  he  first  settled,  un- 
til 1876,  when  he  was  elected  County  Sheriff"  as  a  Republican,  and  re-elected  in 
1878.  Since  the  expiration  of  his  second  term,  Mr.  Stacy  has  been  living  retired 
in  La  Grange.  They  have  eight  children — Mary,  John,  Mahlon,  Ann  A.,  Sa- 
bra, Frank,  Elias  and  Clara ;  all  living  except  Ann  Adell,  who  died  when  an 
infant.     Mrs.  Stacy  was  born  February  1,  1835,  in  Chautauqua  County,  N.  Y. 


290  BIOGRAPHICAL    SKETCHES: 

EDWIN  TEMPLE,  County  Sheriff,  was  born  in  Orleans  County,  N.  Y., 
December  23,  1840,  the  son  of  Luther  and  Sarah  (De  Forrest)  Temple,  natives 
of  New  York  State,  and  the  parents  of  four  children,  two  of  whom  are  living. 
In  1847,  the  family  emigrated  to  Milford  Township,  where  they  had  friends. 
Here  Luther  Temple  began  farming,  but,  in  1848.  died  of  lung  fever,  followed 
by  his  widow  in  1854.  He  was  a  jovial  man,  and  commanded  the  respect  of 
his  acquaintances.  Edwin,  after  the  death  of  his  mother,  began  life  for  himself. 
July  24,  1861,  he  enlisted  in  Company  A,  Twenty-first  Indiana  Volunteer  In- 
fantry, and  was  discharged  at  Baton  Rouge  January  10,  1866.  After  his  en- 
listment, he  was  transferred  to  the  First  Indiana  Heavy  Artillery,  serving  in 
the  Department  of  the  Gulf,  and  was  in  the  engagements  of  Baton  Rouge,  Port 
Hudson,  New  Orleans,  and  with  Gen.  Butler  in  his  movement  up  the  Red 
River.  After  the  war,  he  returned  home  and  engaged  in  farming.  In  the  fall 
of  1880,  he  was  elected  Sheriff  by  the  Republican  party,  which  position  he  now 
fills.  He  was  married  February  1,  1873,  to  Miss  Mary  Ream,  daughter  of 
Phillip  and  Elizabeth  (Hoofer)  Ream,  who  was  born  in  Seneca  County,  Ohio, 
October  17,  1847.     They  are  the  parents  of  one  son — Phillip. 

J.  C.  TIDRICK,  grocery  merchant,  was  born  in  Bloomfield  Township 
February  15,  1841,  and  is  a  son  of  Jacob  and  Sarah  (Rathburn)  Tidrick,  who 
were  among  the  old  settlers  of  Bloomfield.  [For  further  particulars  regarding 
his  father,  Jacob  Tidrick,  see  the  biographical  department  of  Bloomfield  Town- 
ship.] J.  C.  Tidrick  was  reared  on  his  father's  farm  until  twenty-two  years  of 
age,  and  received  a  good  common-school  education.  In  1864,  he  began  his 
business  career  in  La  Grange,  at  the  grocery  trade.  The  winter  of  1864,  he 
sold  out  to  King  &  Rice,  and  January  1,  1866,  he  again  embarked  in  the  same 
business  m  La  Grange,  under  the  firm  name  of  Tidrick  &  Selby.  Owing  to 
the  death  of  Mr.  Selby,  Mr.  Tidrick  sold  the  entire  stock  to  W.  T.  Parry  the 
spring  of  1868,  and  the  following  August  went  to  Kansas.  In  1872,  he  came 
back,  and  again  embarked  in  the  grocery  trade,  at  which  he  has  since  con- 
tinued. Mr.  Tidrick  has  been  successful  as  a  business  man,  and  is  enterprising 
as  a  citizen.     He  is  a  Republican,  is  married  and  has  a  family. 

F.  M.  VEDDER,  groceryman,  was  born  in  Elkhart  County  in  March, 
1843,  son  of  Adam  and  Sarah  Vedder,  who  were  parents  of  four  children. 
His  mother  died  Avhen  he  was  about  eighteen  months  old,  and  shortly  after- 
ward his  father  married  again,  and  moved  to  Wisconsin,  where  he  died  during 
the  war.  After  the  death  of  his  mother,  F.  M.  Vedder  was  bound  out  to  John 
Thompson,  now  of  Eden  Township,  until  he  was  eighteen  years  old.  He  was 
enrolled  a  member  of  Company  C,  Thirtieth  Indiana  Volunteer  Infantry, 
August  27,  1861,  and  discharged  December  12,  1863.  He  participated  in  the 
engagements  of  Perryville,  Pittsburg  Landing,  and  all  the  engagements  of  his 
regiment  until  the  31st  of  December,  1862,  when  the  battle  of  Stone  River 
commenced.  On  this  day  he  was  wounded  four  times  severely,  and  left  within 
the  rebel  lines,  without  food  or  shelter,  until  January  2,  1863,  when  the  enemy 
was  driven  from  the  field.  Mr.  Vedder  was  then  sent  to  the  hospital  at  Nash- 
ville, when,  being  unfit  for  further  service,  he  was  discharged.  He  lived  with 
Mr.  Thompson,  in  Eden  Township,  for  upward  of  two  years,  during  which 
time  he  attended  the  district  schools  and  the  Collegiate  Institute  at  Ontario. 
The  spring  of  1866  he  moved  to  La  Grange  and  engaged  in  different  kinds  of 
employment.  For  two  years  was  Deputy  Revenue  Assessor,  and  the  last  year  of 
this  time  was  Deputy  Revenue  Collector.  He  was  also  Deputy  County  Treasurer 
under  Treasurers  Newman  and  Shepardson.     He  was  married,  November  10, 


TOWN  OF  LA  GRANGE.  291 

1869,  to  Miss  Mary  E.  Wade,  and  to  them  have  been  born  three  children — 
Charles  B.,  Frank  J.,  deceased,  and  John  N.  In  1874,  Mr.  Vedder  and 
Joseph  B.  Wade  engaged  together  in  the  grocery  trade,  but  in  June,  1875, 
Mr.  Vedder  sold  out  his  interest,  and  July  27,  1875,  embarked  in  the  same 
business  alone.  He  is  a  Republican.  His  brother,  George  W.,  was  in  the 
same  company  and  regiment  with  Mr.  Vedder. 

JOSEPH  B.  WADE,  attorney  at  law,  was  born  in  Harrison  County,  Va., 
April  11, 1826,  the  youngest  of  two  children  born  to  Samuel  and  Mary  (Bizzard) 
Wade,  his  mother  dying  when  he  was  only  nine  months  old.  His  father  afterward 
married  Margaret  Michael,  and  finally  died  in  Marion  County,  Ohio.  The  fall  of 
1829,  Mrs.  Wade  and  her  two  step-children  came  with  Benjamin  Jones  to  what 
is  now  Greenfield  Township,  among  the  first  settlers.  They  located  at  what  is 
now  the  village  of  Lexington,  where  our  subject  received  such  education  as  the 
county  schools  afforded.  He  began  the  study  of  law  in  1846,  and  at  the  same 
time  assisted  on  the  farm.  In  1852,  he  engaged  in  mercantile  pursuits  in  La 
Grange,  continuing  three  and  a  half  years.  He  was  then  employed  by  the 
Grand  Rapids  &  Indiana  Railroad  Company  for  one  year,  as  Director  and 
Stock  Solicitor.  In  November,  1857,  he  was  admitted  to  the  bar.  He  is  a 
member  of  the  A.,  F.  &  A.  M.,  and  has  been  W.  M.  of  the  Meridian  Sun 
Lodge,  No.  76,  four  years.  Mr.  Wade  is  also  a  member  of  La  Grange  Chap- 
ter, No.  36,  R.  A.  M.  He  was  married  April  7,  1846,  to  Louisa  J.  Warner, 
daughter  of  Eliphalet  and  Edith  (Gray)  Warner,  and  a  native  of  Ashtabula 
County,  Ohio.  To  them  have  been  born  eight  children  ;  four  are  yet  living — 
Cyrus  U.,  Mary  M.,  Charlie  C.  and  Carrie  B.  The  first-named  read  law  under 
his  father,  was  admitted  to  the  bar,  and  practiced  in  La  Grange.  He  was 
elected  and  served  two  terms  in  the  Thirty-fourth  Judicial  Circuit  as  Prosecut- 
ing Attorney.  He  married  Miss  Mary  Will,  and  in  the  spring  of  1880  en- 
tered the  Methodist  Episcopal  ministry,  and  is  now  located  at  Roann,  Ind. 
Charlie  C.  married  Miss  Maggie  Will,  purchased  his  brother's  interest  in 
law.  and  is  now  practicing  with  his  father  under  the  firm  name  of  Wade  & 
Wade. 

HON.  E.  W.  WEIR  was  born  March  12,  1813,  in  Washington  County, 
N.  Y.,  of  Samuel  and  Sarah  (Woods)  Weir,  who  were  natives  of  that  State. 
Samuel  Weir  was  a  soldier  of  the  war  of  1812,  and  his  wife's  father  was  a 
Revolutionary  soldier.  In  1836,  E.  W.  Weir  immigrated  to  La  Grange  County. 
The  fall  of  1836,  he  settled  on  part  of  Section  24,  in  Bloomfield  Township. 
Mr.  Weir  disposed  of  this  property  in  1837  to  his  mother,  but  it  is  now  in 
possession  of  Norman  Weir.  Mr.  Weir  then  moved  to  Milford  Township, 
where  he  farmed  until  his  removal  to  La  Grange.  In  1852,  he  was  elected 
County  Treasurer  by  the  Democrats,  and  served  four  years  ;  then  engaged  in 
farming.  On  the  repeal  of  the  Missouri  Compromise  Bill,  Mr.  Weir  became 
a  Republican,  and  was  elected  to  the  State  Senate,  serving  in  the  sessions  of 
1878  and  1879.  He  was  identified  with  the  organization  of  the  First  National 
Bank  of  Lima  in  1865.  He  has  been  three  times  married,  first  to  Miss  Amy 
A.  Hern,  daughter  of  William  Hern.  This  lady  died  in  1847.  leaving  three 
children,  two  of  whom  are  now  .living — John  and  Emily.  In  1849,  he  married 
his  second  wife,  Mrs.  Savilla  Rice,  daughter  of  A.  E.  Durand,  and  widow  of 
Dewitt  Rice.  This  lady  died  in  1855,  leaving  one  daughter,  Sarah,  who  is 
yet  living.  Mr.  Weir's  present  wife  was  Mrs.  Abigail  W.  Cowley,  widow  of 
E.  D.  Cowley,  and  daughter  of  Elisha  White.  This  lady  had  a  family  by  her 
first  husband,  and  is  in  every  respect  a  helpmeet  for  Mr.  Weir. 


292  BIOGRAPHICAL  SKETCHES: 

E.  G.  WHITE,  M.  D.,  was  born  in  Wayne  County,  N.  Y.,  March  22, 
1830  ;  a  son  of  Ira  and  Jane  G.  (Rennie)  White,  natives  of  Vermont  and  the 
city  of  New  York  respectively.  Soon  after  the  birth  of  our  subject,  his  mother 
died,  and  at  the  age  of  twelve  his  father  died.  He  had  come  to  Maumee  City, 
Ohio,  with  his  father  in  1836,  where  he  lived  until  thirteen  years  old,  when  he 
returned  to  the  State  of  New  York.  In  1845,  he  returned  to  Maumee  City, 
where  he  became  a  printer.  In  1847,  he  went  to  Columbus,  and  for  nearly 
four  years  worked  in  the  offices  of  the  State  Journal  and  Ohio  Statesman.  The 
summer  of  1850,  he  visited  his  native  State,  and  that  winter  began  the  study  of 
medicine.  He  attended  the  Starling  Medical  College  in  Columbus,  and  received 
instructions  from  such  men  as  Profs.  Childs,  Howard,  Moore,  Judkins,  et  al. 
After  his  graduation  in  February,  1854,  he  practiced  for  a  time  in  Licking 
County,  Ohio.  In  July,  1857,  he  came  to  this  town.  Immediately  after  the 
battle  of  Stone  River,  in  1863,  Dr.  White  received  a  telegram  from  Gov.  Mor- 
ton to  gather  as  many  surgeons  as  possible  and  report  for  special  duty  al  Nash- 
ville and  Murfreesboro.  After  attending  to  this,  he  contracted  as  Acting  Assist- 
ant Surgeon,  and  remained  until  the  close  of  the  war.  For  the  past  thirteen 
years,  he  has  been  Examining  Surgeon  of  applicants  for  pensions,  and  is  also 
the  present  examiner  of  the  K.  of  H.,  and  a  number  of  insurance  companies. 
Dr.  White  and  Agnes  R.  Murch,  of  Licking  County,  Ohio,  were  married  in  Oc- 
tober, 1856,  and  are  the  parents  of  two  living  children — Ira  and  George  M.  Dr. 
White  is  one  of  the  Trustees  of  Bloomfield  Township.  He  and  wife  are  mem- 
bers of  the  Presbyterian  Church. 

JAMES  H.  WIGTON  is  the  son  of  William  Wigton,  deceased,  who  was 
born  in  Tompkins  County,  N.  Y.,  November  18,  1817,  son  of  William  and 
Elizabeth  (Mushback)  Wigton,  of  Scotch  descent.  William  Wigton,  Sr.,  was 
a  Major  in  the  regular  army  and  the  war  of  1812.  William  Wigton,  Jr.,  in 
about  1839,  married  Emily  Holmes,  daughter  of  Capt.  James  and  Elizabeth 
(Wells)  Holmes,  and  sister  of  C.  B.  Holmes.  Capt.  Holmes  was  a  State  Sur- 
veyor, and  in  1831  or  1832  entered  7,000  acres  of  land  in  La  Grange  and 
Noble  Counties.  A  short  time  before  his  death,  he  called  his  children  around 
him  and  divided  this  property  among  them,  Mrs.  Wigton,  for  her  share,  getting 
640  acres,  Section  14,  in  Clay  Township.  Upon  this  woodland,  in  a  cabin  they 
had  erected,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Wigton  settled  in  1843.  In  March,  1849,  Mr.  Wigton 
started  overland  for  California  with  a  company  of  others,  and  on  the  journey 
all  were  killed  by  the  Indians  or  died  of  disease  excepting  himself  and  David 
Smith.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Wigton  resided  on  the  old  place  in  Clay  Township  until 
February,  1865,  when  they  sold  it,  and  started  East  for  the  benefit  of  Mrs. 
Wigton's  health.  Arriving  at  Hebron,  Ohio,  the  birthplace  of  Mrs.  Wigton, 
she  became  worse  and  died  there.  Mr.  Wigton,  after  this,  continued  on  to 
Accomack  County,  Va.,  where  he  died  in  August,  1868.  They  were  parents 
of  seven  children,  only  three — James  H.,  Robert  and  Mary — now  living.  James 
H.  was  born  in  Hebron,  Ohio,  March  27,  1843,  and  came  with  his  parents  to 
La  Grange  County.  He  was  married  in  1872  to  Miss  Florence,  daughter  of 
Henry  0.  and  Caroline  M.  (Smurr)  Belding,  and  to  this  union  is  born  one  son 
— Martin  K.  Mr.  Wigton  owns  160  acres  of  land  in  Clay  Township,  and 
the  only  cooper-shop  in  La  Grange. 

FRED.  B.  WOOD,  M.  D.,  physician  and  druggist,  was  born  in  the  State 
of  New  York  in  1844,  to  Arthur  and  Sarah  (Farnham)  Wood.  He  was  left 
an  orphan  when  eight  years  of  age,  his  father  having  died  when  he  was  but 
three.     At  the  age  of  two  years,  De  Kalb  County,  Ind.,  became  his  home.    By 


BLOOMFIELD  TOWNSHIP.  293 

saving  his  wages  he  was  enabled  to  attend  Hillsdale  College  the  years  of  1857 
and  1858.  In  June,  1861,  he  enlisted  in  Company  A,  Twenty-ninth  Indiana 
Volunteer  Infantry,  and  was  the  second  person  to  enlist  for  three  years  from 
De  Kalb  County.  He  was  in  the  battles  of  Shiloh,  Perryville,  Stone  River, 
Liberty  Gap  and  Chickamauga.  At  Stone  River  he  was  wounded  slightly  in 
the  head,  and  the  last  day  of  the  fight  at  Chickamauga,  September  20,  1863, 
he  was  taken  prisoner  and  conveyed  to  Richmond.  He  was  first  incarcerated 
in  Scott's  Prison,  afterward  in  Royster,  Pemberton  and  Belle  Isle.  February 
22,  1864,  he  was  taken  to  Andersonville,  and  was  in  the  first  squad  of  troops 
to  enter  this  Golgotha.  September  7,  1864,  he  was  removed  to  the  prison  at 
Savannah,  Ga.  ;  October  3,  1864,  he  was  transferred  to  Milan,  and  from  there 
back  to  Savannah,  where  he  was  exchanged  November  21, 1864,  being  exactly 
fourteen  months  in  rebel  prisons,  where  he  endured  more  than  the  sufferings  of 
death.  In  the  spring  of  1865,  he  attended  Hillsdale  College,  after  which  he 
continued  his  medical  studies  at  Angola.  In  October,  1865,  he  went  to  Belle- 
vue  and  attended  lectures,  and  the  next  year  began  practicing  in  Big  Rapids, 
Mich.  In  1871,  he  graduated  from  the  Rush  Medical  College  in  Chicago. 
After  attending  a  course  of  lectures  at  Fort  Wayne,  he  graduated  from  that 
school  in  1879.  In  the  spring  of  1881,  came  to  this  place  and  engaged  in 
practicing  and  the  drug  trade.  Was  married,  July  22,  1865,  to  Mary  J.  Sar- 
gent, who  has  borne  him  two  sons,  J.  Fordyce  and  Plionso  S. 


BLOOMFIELD  TOWNSHIP. 

WILSON  ALDRICH,  a  native  of  Ontario  County,  N.  Y.,  born  October 
9,  1830,  is  the  elder  of  two  children  living,  in  the  family  of  Aaron  and  Sally 
(Purchase)  Aldrich,  both  natives  of  Ontario  County,  N.  Y.  The  subject's 
mother  died  in  1838,  and  his  father  married  Nancy  Pratt,  a  native  of  New 
York,  and  in  1871  went  to  Ludington,  Mason  Co.,  Mich.,  where  he  is  yet  a 
resident.  Wilson  Aldrich  passed  his  youth  on  his  father's  farm,  and  received 
a  common-school  education.  In  December,  1851,  he  went  to  California,  via 
New  York  and  Nicaragua,  and  met  with  moderate  success  there.  Returning  to 
New  York  in  1853,  he  remained  until  June  of  the  following  year,  when  he 
came  and  purchased  160  acres  of  his  present  farm  in  this  township.  In  the 
fall  of  1854,  he  went  to  Hillsdale,  Mich,,  and  was  there  married  October  9, 
same  year,  to  Miss  Catherine  Whitbeck.  After  visiting  several  points  of  inter- 
est in  New  York,  they  returned  in  December  to  their  home  in  this  township. 
Mr.  Aldrich  is  a  Democrat  and  a  prominent  farmer.  He  owns  309  acres  of 
land,  and  has  a  family  of  five  children,  viz.:  Frank  J.,  Florence  E.,  now  Mrs. 
J.  F.  Summerlin,  Fannie  A.,  Eva  B.  and  Burton  A.  Mrs.  Aldrich  was  born 
April  8,  1832,  in  Wayne  County,  N.  Y.,  and  was  one  of  six  children  born  to 
Thomas  J.  and  Lois  (Allen)  Whitbeck,  natives  of  New  York. 

IRA  W.  BROWN,  is  the  son  of  Abijah  and  Maria  (Shoff)  Brown.  His  birth 
■occurred  March  25, 1824,  near  Oxford,  N.  Y.,  and  in  1838  he  went  to  Bellevue, 
Huron  Co.,  Ohio,  with  his  parents.  From  the  age  of  seventeen  to  twenty-one,  he 
worked  as  an  apprentice  in  the  carriage  and  wagon  manufactory  of  his  father, 
afterward  assuming  the  management  for  one  and  one-half  years,  when  he  bought 
his  father's  interest,  and  continued  the  business  alone.  In  about  1847,  he  and 
h.\%  father  purchased  a  farm  in  Sandusky  County,  Ohio,  where  Ii'a  W.  removed 


294  .  BIOGRAPHICAL    SKETCHES: 

about  two  years  later.  He  continued  his  trade,  and  manufactured  a  number 
of  wagons  that  were  taken  overland  to  California  during  the  gold  excitement 
there.  In  the  winter  of  1854-55,  Mr.  Brown  emigrated  to  this  county,  and 
after  the  arrival  of  his  family  in  the  spring,  settled  in  this  township.  After 
his  arrival  here,  he  operated  a  steam  saw-mill  in  Johnson  Township,  in  partner- 
ship with  his  father,  and  brother  Jacob.  The  two  latter  subsequently  sold  out 
to  Ira  W.,  who  continued  the  business  until  1866.  In  1865,  he  moved  onto 
his  farm  of  160  acres  in  this  township,  and  has  retained  most  of  the  timber  on 
the  land.  In  1870,  he  built  a  saw-mill  which  he  has  since  operated.  Mr. 
Brown,  in  1848,  August  16,  married  Julia  P.  Lamson,  whose  birth  occurred 
January  10,  1831,  in  Chenango  County,  N.  Y.  Her  parents  were  Orson  and 
Betsey  (Shoif)  Lamson,  natives  of  New  York.  Mr.  Brown  is  a  member  of 
A.,  F.  &  A.  M.  They  have  had  six  children;  four  are  living — Llewellyn 
A.,  Clifford  J.,  Louise  B.,  now  Mrs.  Samuel  Weir,  and  Ellsworth  I.  Mr. 
Brown  is  a  leading  farmer  and  lumber  dealer,  and  has  one  of  the  finest 
residences  ia  the  township  ;  his  land  is  well  cultivated  and  improved  with  good 
substantial  buildings. 

HON.  JOHN  Y.  CLARK,  deceased,  was  the  son  of  Isaac  and  Patience 
(Young)  Clark,  both  of  New  Jersey,  where  the  subject  was  born  September  26, 
1806,  in  Sussex  County,  and  where  he  was  married,  December  11,  1826,  to 
Hester  H.  Westbrook.  She  also  was  a  native  of  Sussex  County,  born  in 
1809,  the  4th  of  April.  In  1829,  he  emigrated  to  Steuben  County,  N.  Y., 
journeying  to  this  township  in  1836,  where  he  purchased  a  tract  of  160  acres 
of  timbered  land.  Their  nearest  neighbors  were  two  miles  distant.  Mr. 
Clark,  with  the  assistance  of  his  sons,  soon  had  his  farm  cleared  and  improved. 
He  served  his  township  as  Justice  of  the  Peace,  and  was  elected,  in  1846,  to 
the  Lower  House  of  the  Indiana  State  Legislature  by  the  Whig  party,  of  which 
he  was  a  leader.  Mr.  Clark  died  at  his  home  in  this  township,  owning  at  that 
time  240  acres  of  land.  He  was  a  man  that  inspired  the  esteem  and  respect  of 
all.  His  wife  died  May  7,  1878.  They  had  ten  children;  those  living  are 
Phoebe,  now  Mrs.  Van  Kirk;  Abraham  W.;  Patience,  now  Mrs.  Thompson  ; 
Martha,  now  Mrs.  Draggoo ;  Eleanor  J.,  now  Mrs.  Newell ;  Hester  H.,  now 
Mrs.  Malone,  and  William  J.  Abraham  W.  has  been  a  member  of  the  Merid- 
ian Sun  Lodge,  No.  76,  A.,  F.  &  A.  M.,  for  more  than  twenty  years,  and  has 
represented  that  order  at  the  Grand  Lodge  several  times  ;  he  is  also  an  R.  A. 
and  S.  M.  Mason.  Himself  and  brother,  William  J.,  own  and  live  on  the  old 
homestead,  and  are  both  among  Bloomfield's  leading  citizens. 

SPENCER  I.  CLEAVELAND,  miller,  born  May  10, 1823,  in  Onondaga 
County,  N.  Y.,  is  the  son  of  Asaph  and  Polly  (Hawks)  Cleaveland,  who  had  a 
family  of  seven  children.  Asaph  Cleaveland  was  born  October  26,  1785,  in 
Connecticut,  and  his  wife  August  23,  1787,  in  Massachusetts.  The  former 
served  in  the  war  of  1812,  and  followed  farming  throughout  life.  In  1838.  he 
came  to  this  county,  settling  in  Greenfield  Township,  and  removed  to  Steuben 
County,  Ind.,  in  1840,  where  he  died  in  January.  1847.  Mrs.  Polly  Cleave- 
land was  a  Presbyterian  ;  died  in  April,  1846.  Spencer  Cleaveland  received 
a  fair  education,  and  in  1840  went  to  Ontario  County,  N.  Y.;  was  employed 
in  farm  work  six  years,  then  came  to  Steuben  County,  Ind.,  and  bought  eighty 
acres  of  land.  He  was  married  in  New  York  August  29,  1847,  to  Miss  Pau- 
lowna  L.  Wilmarth,  whose  birth  occurred  August  11,  1823,  in  Victor,  Ontario 
Co.,  N.  Y.  Her  parents  were  Otis  and  Sophronia  (Boughton)  Wilmarth, 
natives  of  New  Jersey,  the  former  born  December  8,  1792,  and    the  latter 


BLOOMFIELD  TOAVNSHIP.  295 

October  11,  1795.  In  1853,  Mr.  Cleaveland  came  to  this  county  and  bought 
a  farm  of  120  acres,  which  he  sold  in  1854,  and  returned  to  Steuben  County, 
and  purchased  100  more  acres  there.  In  1857,  he  bought  a  flouring-mill  near 
there,  which  he  operated  until  November,  1858,  when  it  was  destroyed  by  fire. 
Mr.  Cleaveland  exchanged  his  farm,  in  1861,  for  the  one  upon  which  he  now 
lives  in  this  township.  He  was  a  member  of  the  Regulator  organization ;  is  a 
stanch  Republican,  and  was  elected  Township  Assessor  and  Real  Estate  Ap- 
praiser in  1873.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Cleaveland  have  only  one  son  living — Llewel- 
lyn S.,  who  is  a  resident  of  Denver,  Colo. 

SAMUEL  CLINE  is  a  native  of  Richland  County,  Ohio,  and  next  to 
the  youngest  of  nine  children  born  to  William  and  Ellen  (Gibbeney)  Cline — 
the  father  a  native  of  Pennsylvania,  and  the  mother  of  Ohio.  They  died  in 
this  township,  where  they  came  in  1854,  and  purchased  320  acres  of  land ; 
his  death  occurred  in  1871,  and  hers  in  September,  1881.  December  22, 
1858,  Samuel  Cline  and  Mary  A.  Olmstead  were  married,  and  the  following 
two  years  he  was  engaged  in  farming  for  his  father  on  shares.  In  the  spring 
of  1861,  he  bought  eighty  acres  of  land  in  this  township,  where  he  lived  four 
years,  then  bought  the  farm  of  eighty  acres  where  he  is  living.  Mrs.  Cline  is 
a  native  of  this  county,  born  February  9,  1843.  Mr.  Cline's  birth  occurrr-d 
on  the  4th  of  March,  1836.  Thev  have  had  five  children — Calvin  W.,  Harvey 
0.,  William,  who  died  March  9,  "1868,  Perley  M.  and  Mary  E.  Mr.  Cline  is 
an  enterprising  farmer  and  stock-dealer.  Mrs.  Cline  is  the  daughter  of  Har- 
vey and  Mary  A.  (Gage)  Olmstead. 

WILLIAM  A,  CLINE  was  born  in  Richland  County,  Ohio,  August 
8,  1830 ;  is  the  son  of  William  and  Ellen  (Gibney)  Cline.  His  father 
was  born  in  1794,  in  Huntingdon  County,  Penn.  ;  was  married  in  Richland 
County,  Ohio,  where  he  purchased  a  farm  of  237  acres,  improved  the  same  and 
in  June,  1854,  emigrated  to  Indiana.  In  this  township  he  bought  320  acres  of 
land,  and  resided  until  his  death,  October  2,  1871.  Mrs.  Ellen  Cline,  a  native 
of  Washington  County,  Penn.,  was  born  July  22,  1799,  and  died  August  26, 
1881.  William  Cline,  the  subject,  spent  his  youth  at  the  home  of  his  parents, 
and  four  years  after  attaining  his  majority  farmed  the  old  homestead  on  shares. 
January  14,  1856,  he  was  united  in  marriage  to  Mary  E.  Spears,  and  the  same 
year  bought  80  acres  of  his  present  property,  which  now  consists  of  255  acres 
of  land,  under  good  cultivation.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Cline  have  four  children  living, 
Mary  J.,  Frank  B.,  Nellie  E.  and  Rachael  L.  Mrs.  Cline  is  the  daughter  of 
Tunice  and  Mary  J.  (Scoville)  Spears,  and  was  born  in  Springfield  Township, 
this  county,  January  17,  1840.  Her  father's  birth  occurred  in  May,  1810,  in 
Pennsylvania,  and  her  mother's  in  Connecticut,  in  1820.  Mr.  Cline  is  a  sub- 
stantial. Republican  citizen. 

JOSEPH  W,  CONNELLY  was  born  in  Ohio  April  13,  1833. 
His  father,  Thomas  Connelly,  was  born  in  Maryland  and  his  mother,  Sevilla 
Connelly,  in  Virginia.  Since  1835,  Joseph  W.  Connelly  has  lived  in  this 
county,  with  the  exception  of  one  year  passed  in  Iowa.  His  schooling,  there- 
fore, was  acquired  in  this  county,  and  when  twenty  years  old  began  life  for 
himself.  October  18,  1854,  he  was  united  in  marriage  to  Miss  Louisa  Gage,  a 
native  of  La  Grange,  Ind.  Her  parents,  Jacob  and  Anna  Gage,  were 
natives  respectively  of  Vermont  and  Pennsylvania ;  the  former  is  a  farmer  and 
resides  in  Van  Buren  Township,  this  county ;  the  latter  died  in  this  county  in 
August,  1871.  Mr.  Connelly  first  rented  a  farm,  then  went  to  Iowa  and  pur- 
chased 53  acres  of  land.     Returning  the  next  year  he  bought  his  present  farm 


296  BIOGRAPHICAL   SKETCHES: 

of  80  acres,  and  has  cleared  most  of  that  which  is  now  under  cultivation. 
Mr.  Connelly  keeps  the  usual  amount  of  stock  on  his  farm  and  is  a  good  citi- 
zen. He  and  wife  belong  to  the  M.  E.  Church  and  are  parents  of  ten 
children — John  B.,  Martha  S.,  Joseph  A.,  Mary  R.  (deceased),  Thomas  B., 
Hiram  J.,  Sevilla  A.,  Orpheus  J.,  Orphy  M.  and  Charles  F. 

JAMES  D.  CRANDELL,  one  of  the  pioneers  of  La  Gra'nge  County, 
was  born  in  Monroe  County,  N.  Y.,  September  1,  1822.  He  is  one  of  ten 
children  born  to  Ivory  and  Hopey  (Winslow)  Crandall.  The  former,  a  native 
of  Rhode  Island,  was  a  carpenter  by  trade,  and  a  soldier  in  the  war  of  1812. 
The  latter  was  born  in  Washington  County,  N.  Y.  In  1836,  they  removed 
from  Monroe  County,  N.  Y.,  to  this  township,  where  Mr.  Crandall  bought  land 
and  the  same  year  laid  out  the  town  of  Bloomfield,  now  known  as  Hill's  Cor- 
ners. He  died  at  the  home  of  his  daughter,  Mrs.  Grannis,  in  Steuben  County, 
Ind.,  March  4,  1872.  When  eighteen  years  old,  James  Crandall  learned  the 
cooper's  trade,  and  in  1841  bought  40  acres  of  land  in  this  towhship  ;  followed 
his  trade  one  and  one-half  years  at  Union  Mills,  this  county,  and  in  1843, 
bought  90  acres  of  his  present  farm  of  156  acres,  where  he  built  a  shop  and 
has  since  lived,  engaged  at  his  trade  and  farming.  October  5,  1851,  he  mar- 
ried Susan  A.  Faulkner,  and  to  them  five  children  have  been  born — Erin 
M.,  now  Mrs.  J.  L.  Chapman,  Emeline  A.,  Francis  U.,  now  Mrs.  D.  0.  Chap- 
man, William  S.  and  Frank  H.  Mrs.  Crandall  was  born  in  Talbot  County, 
Md.,  July  6,  1831.  Her  parents,  William  P.  and  Nancy  (Pierson)  Faulkner 
were  natives  of  the  same  State,  and  parents  of  five  children.  Mr.  Crandall  is  a 
leading  Republican  citizen. 

JAMES  A.  DUNTEN  is  the  son  of  Thomas  and  Margaret  (Mattoon) 
Dunten  of  Vermont.  Thomas  Dunten  was  a  pioneer  of  Allen  County,  Ind., 
where  he  entered  land  in  1833,  built  a  cabin  and  commenced  clearing.  They 
had  a  family  of  seven  children,  and  he  was  in  the  war  of  1812,  participating  in 
the  battle  of  Sackett's  Harbor.  James  Dunten  was  born  in  Jefferson  County, 
N.  Y.,  November  25,  1819,  and  was  married  July  12,  1846,  to  Miss  Cynthia 
J.  Carr,  a  native  of  Genesee  County,  N.  Y.,  and  daughter  of  Nathan  and 
Lydia  (Foster)  Carr.  For  a  number  of  years,  he  was  engaged  in  running  a 
hotel,  the  "  Mansion  House,"  on  East  Columbia  Street,  Fort  Wayne,  in  which 
enterprise  he  first  engaged  when  about  twenty-four  years  old,  in  partnership 
with  his  brother,  F.  H.  Dunten.  After  living  on  a  farm  in  Perry  Township, 
Allen  County,  Ind.,  until  the  spring  of  1855,  the  subject,  with  his  family,  took 
an  overland  route  for  California,  going  thither  to  benefit  the  health  of  his  wife. 
They  remained  in  California  until  the  winter  of  1856,  and  while  there  Mr. 
Dunten  engaged  in  the  hotel  business  at  Diamond  Springs,  also  made  money 
by  speculating  in  some  mines  in  Sugar  Loaf  Mountain.  He  returned  to  Allen 
County  via  Panama,  New  York  and  Fort  Wayne.  After  buying  and  selling 
farms  in  Allen  and  Steuben  Counties,  Mr.  Dunten  located  on  his  farm  in  this 
township  in  1869.  Mrs.  Dunten  died  March  11,  1857,  and  left  two  children — 
Mary  J.,  now  Mrs.  Beech,  and  Hattie  C.  His  second  wife,  to  whom  he  was 
married  April  8,  1858,  was  Margaret  Bell,  the  daughter  of  James  and  Marga- 
ret (Gray)  Bell,  natives  of  Massachusetts,  and  pioneers  of  De  Kalb  County, 
Ind.     Mr.  Dunten  and  wife  have  three  children — Ida,  Lola  M.  and  Alice. 

WILLIAM  FISH,  one  of  the  oldest  pioneers  of  La  Grange  County,  was 
born  in  Madison  County,  N.  Y.,  January  13,  1810,  one  of  eight  children  born 
to  Ebenezer  and  Hannah  (Goodrich)  Fish,  natives  of  Connecticut  and  Massa- 
chusetts respectively.     Ebenezer  Fish  served  in  the  war  of  1812  and  was  in 


BLOOMFIELD  TOWNSHIP.  ~  297 

the  battle  at  Fort  Erie,  Canada.  In  1830,  he  came  to  this  county  and  settled 
on  eighty  acres  of  land  on  Pretty  Prairie,  in  Greenfield  Township.  In  1844 
or  1845,  he  came  to  the  home  of  his  daughter,  Pedee  Forker,  where  he  died  in 
December,  1863.  Mrs.  Hannah  Fish  died  in  January,  1861.  Both  were 
members  of  the  Christian  Church.  William  Fish  had  poor  school  advantages. 
In  1826,  he  went  to  Michigan,  and  in  1830  came  to  Greenfield  Township,  this 
county,  and  staked  a  claim  for  eighty  acres  of  land,  receiving  a  patent  deed  for 
the  same  signed  by  Gen.  Jackson.  In  1843,  he  sold  this  farm  and  forty  acres 
he  had  purchased  adjoining  and  went  to  Iowa,  but  soon  returned  and  bought  a 
farm  in  this  township,  which  he  traded,  in  1851,  for  one  in  Branch  County, 
Mich.,  which  he  sold  the  following  year  and  resumed  farming  in  this  township, 
where  he  has  lived  since,  with  the  exception  of  three  years  that  he  rented  his 
farm  and  resided  in  La  Grange.  Mr.  Fish  was  an  active  Regulator,  and  assisted 
in  opening  the  wagon  road  from  Lima  to  Fort  Wayne  by  following  an  Indian 
trail.  Mr.  Fish's  first  wife  died  in  February,  1846.  She  was  a  Miss  Mary 
Leper,  a  native  of  Ohio  and  the  daughter  of  James  and  Kesiah  (Carter)  Leper, 
the  former  born  in  Tennessee  and  the  latter  in  Ohio.  She  was  married  to  the 
subject  November  28,  1833,  and  of  five  children  born  to  them  four  are  living, 
viz. :  Hezekiah,  Anna  M.  (now  Mrs.  Elliott),  Isaiah  and  Mary  J.  (now  Mrs. 
Harding).  Mr.  Fish  was  again  married,  in  1846,  to  Mrs.  Margaret  Wade,  a 
native  of  Pennsylvania.  Her  parents  were  John  and  Sarah  E.  (Johnson) 
Hanes,  natives  of  Pennsylvania  and  Canada  respectively.  Mr.  and  Mrs,  Fish 
have  had  five  children,  three  of  whom  are  living — George  M.,  Hannah  M. 
(now  Mrs.  Orrin  Gage)  and  William  R. 

JAMES  H.  GAGE  is  the  son  of  Abram  and  Julia  A.  (Holley)  Gage, 
who  were  natives  respectively  of  Pennsylvania  and  New  York  and  parents  of 
five  children.  Abram  Gage  was  one  of  the  early  pioneers  of  Springfield 
Township,  this  county,  where  the  subject  was  born  February  10,  1839.  He 
received  the  common  school  advantages,  and  at  the  age  of  twenty  began  work- 
ing for  $10  per  month;  afterward  farmed  on  shares  until  1863,  at  which  time 
he  invested  in  fifty-six  acres  of  unimproved  land  in  this  township.  By  perse- 
vering labor  he  has  acquired  a  farm  well  cultivated,  consisting  of  139  acres, 
and  has  become  one  of  the  valued  citizens.  October  1,  1863,  he  was  married 
to  Martha  Foster,  who  was  born  in  Ashland  County,  Ohio,  November  13,  1847. 
Her  parents,  John  H.  and  Mary  (Weible)  Foster,  were  natives  of  Pennsylvania. 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  Gage  have  united  with  the  Evangelical  denomination.  He  is  a 
Republican.  They  have  seven  children — John  A.,  George  A.,  Mary  E.,  Will- 
iam W.,  Martha  A.,  Sarah  R.  and  Harvey  S. 

WILLIAM  GARDNER  is  a  native  of  Ontario  County,  N.  Y.,  and  the 
only  child  of  John  and  Betsey  (Billings)  Gardner.  The  former  was  born  in 
Pennsylvania,  was  a  member  of  the  Quaker  Society  and  a  fisherman  by  occu- 
pation, casting  his  nets  along  the  Atlantic  coast.  He  died  in  1826,  and  his 
wife,  who  was  a  native  of  New  York,  died  in  Michigan  in  1855.  William 
Gardner  was  born  October  27,  1825,  received  a  common  education,  and  at  the 
age  of  seventeen  learned  the  cooper's  trade,  that  he  has  followed  most  of  the 
time  since.  About  one-half  the  coopering  in  this  county  was  done  by  him. 
In  1846,  he  moved  to  Centerville,  St.  Joseph's  Co.,  Mich.,  pursuing  his  trade 
there  until  he  came  to  this  township  and  located  in  1856.  In  1859,  he  removed 
to  Ontario,  where  Mrs.  Sarah  Gardner  died  March  27,  1860.  She  was 
born  in  New  York  August  11,  1827,  and  was  one  of  five  children  born  to 
Elihu    and   Adeline   (Utter)    Cross,    natives   also   of   New  York.     She    was 


298  BIOGRAPHICAL    SKETCHES  : 

married  to  Mr.  Gardner  February  15,  1849,  and  bore  him  three  children — 
Eugene  W.,  Charles  F.  and  Adeline.  Mr.  Gardner  was  married  to  his  present 
wife — Mrs.  Adelaide  Meek — December  23,  1860.  She  was  one  of  ten  in  the 
family  of  Simon  and  Mary  (Gore)  Cookingham,  and  was  born  January  15, 
1830,  in  Dutchess  County,  N.  Y.  Her  father  was  born  in  the  same  place  and 
her  mother  was  a  native  of  New  London,  Conn.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Gardner  belong 
to  the  Congregational  Church.  He  is  a  Democrat  and  an  enterprising  farmer 
and  mechanic.  Mrs.  Gardner  had  one  child  by  her  first  marriage,  viz.,  Charles 
W.  Meek. 

CURTIS  HARDING  was  born  in  Pennsylvania  September  4,  1798,  and, 
when  small,  moved,  with  his  parents,  to  the  State  of  New  York,  where  he  was 
married,  in  Wayne  County,  to  Miss  Amy  Cowan.  In  1835,  they  emigrated  to 
this  township,  entered  and  settled  on  the  farm  where  Mrs.  Harding  is  now 
living.  By  the  assistance  of  his  sons,  Curtis  Harding  cleared  the  land  and 
made  many  improvements.  He  died  at  his  home  February  10,  1864.  He 
belonged  to  the  Regular  Baptist  Church,  of  which  Mrs.  Harding  is  a  member. 
They  had  seven  children  born  to  them,  four  of  whooa  are  yet  living.  Three 
sons — William,  Daniel  and  Bishop — live  with  their  mother  and  manage  the 
homestead  farm,  which  includes  139  acres  of  good  land.  They  are  all  unmarried 
and  are  among  the  oldest  citizens  of  the  township,  well  known  and  respected. 
William  Harding  is  a  native  of  Ontario  County,  N.  Y,,  and  Daniel  Harding 
was  born  in  this  township  on  the  15th  of  May,  1840. 

WILLIAM  C.  HEALEY  is  one  of  eight  children,  now  living,  born  to 
William  and  Jane  (Hubbard)  Healey,  natives  of  England,  William  Healey 
and  family  emigrated  to  the  United  States  in  1852,  and  came  to  Indiana  and 
bought  land  in  Lima  Township,  which  he  sold  in  1861  and  moved  to  Johnson 
Township,  this  county,  where  he  purchased  a  farm  and  yet  resides.  William 
C.  Healey  was  born  in  Lima  Township,  this  county,  June  13,  1852,  received 
a  common  education  and  remained  with  his  parents  until  sixteen,  when  he 
engaged  in  working  out  by  the  month.  After  five  years,  he  returned  and 
spent  one  year  at  home,  then  bought  fifty  acres  in  Johnson  Township,  that  he 
exchanged,  in  1880,  for  his  present  farm.  He  married  Cordelia  Hossinger  in 
1874,  November  17,  and  they  have  four  children — Adrian  C,  Almon  R.,  Cora 
B.  and  an  infant.  Mrs.  Healey  is  a  native  of  this  county,  born  May  3,  1856, 
and  the  daughter  of  Anthony  and  Mary  M.  (Groh)  Hossinger,  natives  respect- 
ively of  Pennsylvania  and  Germany  and  parents  of  seven  children.  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  Healey  are  members  of  the  Lutheran  Church.  He  is  a  Republican  and 
one  of  the  prosperous  young  farmers  of  Bloom  field  Township. 

EBENEZER  HILL  is  a  native  of  Rensselaer  County,  N.  Y.,  as  were 
also  his  parents,  Aaron  and  Pamelia  (Winston)  Hill.  In  May,  1809,  Aaron 
Hill  removed  to  Monroe  County,  N.  Y.;  thence  in  1840  to  this  county.  In 
1867,  he  moved  to  Iowa,  where  Mrs.  Hill  died  October  20,  1868,  and  Aaron 
Hill  February  5,  1870.  The  latter  was  a  soldier  in  the  war  of  1812.  Eben- 
zer  Hill  was  born  February  25,  1809,  and  spent  his  youth  on  the  home  farm 
and  boating  on  the  New  York  &  Erie  Canal.  In  1842,  he  went  to  Oakland 
County,  Mich.,  where  he  was  engaged  in  farming  about  ten  years;  then  came 
to  this  county,  purchased  and  lived  on  a  farm  in  Johnson  Township  until  1876, 
when  he  located  in  this  township.  Mr.  Hill  served  actively  as  a  Regulator  in 
this  and  Noble  County.  In  Michigan,  he  was  Township  Treasurer  two  years, 
and  has  twice  been  elected  Justice  of  the  Peace.  He  was  first  married,  Janu- 
ary 8,  1827,  to  Hannah  M.  Barber,  a  native  of  New  York.     They  had  nine 


BLOOMFIELD  TOWNSHIP.  299 

children — Andrew  J.;  Phoebe  E.,  now  Mrs.  Barber;  Benjamin  B.;  Mary  M., 
now  Mrs.  Hall;  Melvin  E.;  Joseph  D.;  John  C;  Sarah  J.,  now  Mrs.  Welch, 
and  Julia  A.,  now  Mrs.  Brown.  Mrs.  Hill's  death  occurred  April  6,  1875; 
her  parents  were  Benjamin  and  Hannah  (Morse)  Barber,  natives  respectively 
of  New  York  and  Massachusetts.  Mr.  Hill's  second  and  present  wife  was  born 
in  New  York  February  28,  1820  ;  her  maiden  name  was  Almira  Crandell,  and 
the  subject  is  her  fourth  husband.  They  were  married  in  August,  1877;  she 
was  married  first  to  Newell  Hill,  a  native  of  New  York,  and  by  him  has  left 
one  child,  Edwin  W.  By  her  second  marriage,  to  Stephen  Harris,  a  native  of 
Ohio,  she  had  a  daughter,  Augusta,  now  Mrs.  Maxwell.  Her  third  husband 
was  Ephraim  Jenning,  a  native  of  New  York. 

JACOB  HOAGLAND,  Jr.,  the  son  of  Jacob  and  Elizabeth  (Veghte) 
Hoagland,  was  born  in  Steuben  County,  N.  Y.,  August  20, 1817.  His  parents 
had  twelve  children,  and  Avere  both  natives  of  Somerset  County,  N.  J.,  the 
former  born  in  1773,  and  the  latter  in  1778.  The  subject  was  married  Feb- 
ruary 16,  1836,  to  Sarah  Sherman,  and,  in  April  of  the  same  year,  came  West 
to  Michigan  and  Indiana  with  his  father.  They  bought  200  acres  of  land  in 
this  township,  on  a  portion  of  which  the  subject  now  resides,  and  during  the 
summer  were  engaged  in  clearing  and  bringing  settlers  here,  the  tide  of  immi- 
gration having  set  in  from  Detroit.  In  August,  they  went  back  to  New  York, 
returning  with  their  families  the  same  fall,  coming  by  steamer  from  Buffalo  to 
Detroit,  ihence  overland  to  their  home  in  this  township,  where  the  two  families 
lived  together.  Jacob  Hoagland,  Sr.,  died  in  1848,  and  Mrs.  Hoagland  in 
1858;  both  belonged  to  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church.  Jacob  Hoagland, 
Jr.,  was  the  first  mail  contractor  in  the  county,  starting  in  1851,  the  first  line 
of  stages  from  Sturgis,  Mich.,  to  La  Grange,  and  also  carrying  mail  between 
these  two  points.  He  afterward  sold  out  and  bought  a  half-interest  in  the 
Sturgis  &  Fort  Wayne  Stage  Line,  running  as  far  as  Kendallville,  and  traveling 
over  the  old  Fort  Wayne  &  Lima  road.  Mr.  Hoagland  was  the  first  Consta- 
ble elected  in  this  township,  and  served  several  years  as  Vice  President  of  the  La 
Grange  County  Agricultural  Society;  he  owns  a  fine  farm  of  160  acres,  and  him- 
self and  wife  are  parents  of  eight  children,  four  living — Charles  E.,  Plympton 
A.,  Elizabeth  P.  (now  Mrs.  Price),  and  Rhoda  R.  Mrs.  Hoagland  was  born 
April  11, 1817,  in  Oneida  County,  N.  Y. ;  her  parents  were  Enoch  and  Rhoda 
(Douglass,  Grant)  Sherman,  natives  of  Rhode  Island  and  Scotland  respectively. 
HEZEKIAH  HOARD  is  the  eldest  of  ten  in  the  family  of  Hezekiah  and 
Lodema  (Babcock)  Hoard,  natives  of  New  York.  The  elder  Hoard  was  a  sol- 
dier in  the  war  of  1812;  he  moved  to  Geauga  County,  Ohio,  in  1832,  thence 
to  this  county  in  the  fall  of  1835,  where  he  died  at  the  home  of  the  subject  in 
December,  1869,  his  wife  having  died  three  years  before  at  the  same  place. 
The  subject;  was  born  in  Stephentown.  N.  Y.,  March  14,  1807  ;  he  removed  to 
Geauga  County,  Ohio,  where  he  bought  a  farm,  sold  it  in  1835,  and  came  to 
Lima  Township,  this  county,  where  he  farmed  on  shares  until  1838,  when  he 
came  to  this  township  and  invested  in  eighty  acres  of  unimproved  land;  he  yet 
lives  on  this  farm,  having  added  sixty  acres  more  and  largely  improved  it. 
Mr,  Hoard  was  married  January  1,  1832,  to  Rhoda  Ingraham,  a  native  of  New 
York;  she  died  November  9,  1838.  Of  two  children  born  to  them,  one  (My- 
ron) is  yet  living.  February  28,  1841,  Mr.  Hoard  was  married  to  Miss  Ann 
Wilcox,  who  was  born  December  19,  1814,  and  is  one  of  four  children  born  to 
William  and  Nancy  (Cain)  Wilcox,  natives  of  Connecticut.  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Hoard  are  members  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church  and  have  had  six  chil- 


300  BIOGRAPHICAL   SKETCHES: 

dreri,  three  of  whom  are  living — Mary,  now  Mrs.  Randolph;  William  and 
George. 

ISAAC  HOG  MIRE  is  the  son  of  Samuel  and  Catherine  (Raum)  Hog- 
mire,  natives  of  Washington  County,  Md.,  in  which  place  Isaac  was  born  on 
the  5th  of  April,  1812.  He  was  educated  at  the  common  schools,  and  at  the 
age  of  eighteen  learned  carpentering,  which  occupation  he  has  since  been  en- 
gaged in,  although  not  exclusively.  He  went  to  Richland  County,  Ohio,  in 
1837,  and  the  following  year,  on  the  12th  of  October,  was  united  in  marriage 
to  Miss  Sophia  Ernsberger.  They  came  to  this  county  in  1853,  where  he 
bought  and  improved  80  acres  of  land  in  this  township,  removing  in  1879  to 
his  present  improved  farm  of  120  acres.  Mr.  Hogmire  continued  to  work  at  his 
trade  after  coming  here,  and  has  worked  on  some  of  the  best  buildings  in  the 
county.  The  first  warehouse  in  the  town  of  La  Grange  was  built  by  him,  and 
he  assisted  also  in  building  the  first  storeroom  there.  Mrs.  Hogmire  is  one  of 
eleven  children  in  the  family  of  Michael  and  Phoebe  (Pofi'enbarger)  Ernsberger, 
and  is  of  the  same  nativity  as  her  husband,  born  April  6,  1815.  They  have 
had  born  to  them  six  children ;  one  died  in  infancy,  and  Henry  in  his  thirty- 
fifth  year,  April  27,  1881  ;  the  others  are  all  living — Mary  A.,  now  Mrs. 
Frank  Rife;  Martin;  Sarah  C,  now  Mrs.  Carp,  and  Samuel. 

HIRAM  JACOBS,  the  son  of  Andrew  and  Sarah  (Wing)  Jacobs,  was 
born  in  Ohio  March  4,  1824.  When  thirteen  years  old,  he  came  to  this  county, 
where  he  lived  with  a  brother-in-law,  from  whom  he  received  $100  for  his  serv- 
ices till  he  became  of  age.  He  then  bought  forty  acres  of  unimproved  land, 
has  since  made  other  purchases,  and  now  owns  a  fine  farm  of  130  acres. 
October  18,  1854,  he  was  married  in  La  Grange  to  Miss  Martha  M.  Connelly, 
the  daughter  of  Thomas  and  Sevilla  (Groves)  Connelly,  who  were  natives  re- 
spectively of  Maryland  and  Virginia,  and  came  to  this  county  in  1835,  where 
they  afterward  died.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Jacobs  settled  on  their  present  farm  in 
December,  1854 ;  they  have  one  child,  a  daughter,  Grace.  Mrs.  Jacobs  united 
with  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church  when  a  little  girl,  and  is  yet  a  member. 
In  addition  to  agriculture,  Mr.  Jacobs,  since  1875,  has  devoted  considerable 
attention  to  stock-raising,  and  ships  large  quantities.  He  feeds  annually  about 
one  hundred  head  of  sheep,  fifteen  to  twenty  head  of  cattle,  and  thirty  to 
forty  hogs. 

WILLIAM  JACOBS  is  a  Canadian  by  birth,  and  one  of  eight  in  the 
family  of  Andrew  and  Sarah  (Wing)  Jacobs,  the  former  a  native  of  New 
Hampshire  and  the  latter  of  Pittsfield,  Mass.  Andrew  Jacobs  was  a  pioneer 
of  Lucas  County,  Ohio,  settling  in  1817  in  what  is  now  a  part  of  Toledo. 
The  Indians  became  very  troublesome,  and  on  this  account  he  removed  to 
Canada  in  the  spring  of  1819,  and  William  was  born  August  5  of  that  year. 
In  1820,  they  returned  to  Lucas  County,  and  there  Mrs.  Sarah  Jacobs  died 
August  5,  1834.  In  1836,  Mr.  Jacobs  came  to  this  township,  where  he  re- 
sided with  his  daughter,  Mrs.  Orphelia  Mattoon  until  his  death,  which  occurred 
in  1838.  The  subject,  after  he  was  fourteen,  resided  with  his  uncle,  William 
Sibley,  who  was  also  a  pioneer  of  Lucas  County,  Ohio,  until  the  latter's  death 
in  1836.  In  the  fall  of  that  year,  Mr.  Jacobs  came  to  this  county,  but  re- 
turned again  to  Toledo,  where  he  worked  by  the  month,  until  he  located  in 
this  township  in  1840,  when  he  purchased  forty  acres  of  his  present  farm. 
November  23,  1840,  Mr.  Jacobs  was  married  to  Charlotte  M.  Wing,  who  was 
born  in  Northampton  County,  Penn.,  June  28,  1820,  and  is  the  daughter  of 
Thomas  and  Elinor  (Hardy)  Wing,  of  Massachusetts,  and  parents  of  thirteen 


BLOOMFIELD  TOWNSHIP.  301' 

children.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Jacobs  have  no  children  of  their  own,  but  have  reared: 
two,  and  partially  reared  two  others.  Mr.  Jacobs,  besides  his  farm  of  140 
acres,  owns  property  in  La  Grange. 

ISRAEL  MARKS,  son  of  John  and  Mary  Marks,  was  born  June  7,, 
1839,  in  Stark  County,  Ohio.  His  parents  were  natives  of  Pennsylvania,  and 
they  removed  to  Stark  County,  Ohio,  where  John  Marks  died.  After  this  sad 
occurrence,  Mrs.  Mary  Marks  came  to  Indiana,  in  which  State  she  subsequently 
died.  Israel  Marks  was  reared  and  educated  in  Ohio,  principally  in  Wyandot 
County,  and  came  to  Indiana  when  twenty  years  of  age.  He  was  married  in* 
this  county,  August  24,  1860,  to  Miss  Amanda  E.  Sigler,  a  native  of  Ohio,  and 
the  daughter  of  Peter  and  Nancy  Sigler.  Her  parents,  natives  of  Maryland^ 
are  now  residents  of  this  county.  Mr.  Marks  purchased  sixty-five  acres  of  his 
present  farm  in  1865  ;  he  now  owns  112J  acres,  and  most  of  the  improvements 
he  has  made  himself.  The  buildings  are  good,  and  the  chief  products  of  the 
farm  are  wheat  and  corn.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Marks  have  a  family  of  four  children 
— William  W.,  Ira  M..  Emanuel  E.  and  Mary  E. 

SAMUEL  McCALLY  was  born  August  3,  1827,  in  a  house  situated  or- 
the  line  dividing  Clark  and  Madison  Counties,  Ohio,  and  is  one  of  eleven  chil- 
dren born  to  Nicholas  and  Nancy  (Judy)  McCally,  natives  respectively  of  Vir- 
ginia and  Kentucky.  Nicholas  McCally  served  in  the  war  of  1812,  first  in  i 
the  cavalry,  in  Green  Clay's  Brigade  under  Gen.  Hull,  and  was  one  of  the- 
army  surrendered  to  the  British.  He  afterward  re-enlisted  under  Gen.  Harrison^ 
and  was  wounded  in  an  engagement  with  the  Indians.  He  died  in  Logan) 
County,  Ohio,  in  October,  1850.  Samuel  McCally  received  a  common  educa- 
tion, and  at  the  age  of  eighteen  went  to  work  on  a  farm  in  Clark  County,  Ohio,., 
where  he  remained  three  years,  then  for  the  same  length  of  time  was  engaged  in^ 
driving  cattle  to  New  York.  In  1851,  he  purchased  the  old  homestead  in  Lo- 
gan Count}^  Ohio,  and  in  1854  came  to  this  township  and  bought  the  farm  of" 
180  acres,  where  he  now  lives.  He  married  Mary  A.  Nichelson,  February  15,. 
1849.  She*was  born  January  3,  1828,  in  Clark  County,  Ohio,  and  died  at  her 
home  in  this  township  April  26,  1856.  Her  parents  were  John  and  Roxy 
(Hammond)  Nichelson,  the  former  a  native  of  Pennsylvania  and  the  latter  of" 
New  York.  To  this  union  were  born  four  children,  John  N.,  Almond,  An- 
drew and  Elias  G.;  the  latter  was  killed  May  10,  1865.  Mr.  McCally  was- 
married  to  his  present  wife,  Elizabeth  J.  Richards,  July  3,  1856.  She  is  the 
daughter  of  Joseph  and  Rachel  (Davidson)  Richards,  and  was  born  in  Clark. 
County,  Ohio,  November  23,  1827.  They  have  five  children — Charles  A.,. 
Sarah  H.  (now  Mrs.  Rogers),  Grace  A.,  Manley  and  Roxy  J.  Mr.  McCally  ig-. 
a  stanch  Republican,  and  prominent  farmer  of  the  township. 

CHRISTIAN  MILLER,  when  a  boy  of  six,  moved  to  Morrow  County,,. 
Ohio,  with  his  parents,  Andrew  and  Mary  M.  (Zimmerman)  Miller,  both  natives- 
of  Harford  County,  Md.,  where  the  subject  was  born  March  10, 1825  ;  his  fath- 
er's birth  occurred  August  17,  1800,  and  his  mother's  October  5,  1804.  In^ 
their  family  were  three  boys  and  eight  girls.  Christian  Miller,  at  the  age  gS' 
twenty-one,  traveled  West  on  a  prospecting  tour,  returning  to  Ohio  in  the  fall,, 
where  he  was  married  in  Richland  County,  on  the  13th  of  April,  1848,  to  Misg;- 
Juliann  Sowers.  They  went  to  Jefierson  Township,  Noble  County,  in  1850^ 
where  they  lived  four  years  on  a  farm.  Mr.  Miller  during  that  time  cleared; 
sixty  acres  of  land.  He  then  sold  out  and  came  to  this  township  and  bought 
thirty-two  acres  that  now  lie  in  the  southwestern  part  of  La  Grange,  also 
eighty  acres  in  Clay  Township,  all  of  which  he  subsequently  sold.     In  1858,, 


302  BIOGRAPHICAL   SKETCHES: 

he  purchased  a  stock  of  dry  goods  and  groceries  in  La  Grange,  and  sold  the 
same  the  next  year,  when  he  engaged  in  the  lumber  business;  in  1861,  erect- 
ed a  saw-mill,  operated  it  until  1870,  when  he  bought  a  farm  of  136  acres  in 
this  township,  where  he  is  residing,  having  increased  his  farm  to  364  acres. 
For  about  two  years  he  ran  a  saw-mill  on  his  place,  when  the  supply  of  water 
failed  and  it  was  abandoned.  Mr.  Miller,  from  1854  to  1862  was  an  Odd  Fel- 
low, when  the  war  broke  the  lodge  up,  and  was  an  active  Regulator.  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  Miller  belong  to  the  Lutheran  Church,  and  have  a  family  of  five  children, 
viz.:  Mary  G.  (now  Mrs.  Peters),  Catherine  E.  (now  Mrs.  Deavenbaugh),  Henry 
A.,  Anna  and  John  C.  Mrs.  Miller  is  a  native  of  Center  County,  Penn.,  born 
October  16,  1827,  the  daughter  of  Henry  and  Mary  A.  C.  (Miller)  Sowers,  na- 
tives respectively  of  Pennsylvania  and  Maryland,  and  parents  of  nine  children. 

WILLIAM  R.  MINICK  is  a  native  of  Stark  County,  Ohio,  where  his 
birth  occurred  October  24,  1837.  His  parents,  John  and  Nancy  (Poland) 
Minick,  were  natives  of  Pennsylvania,  the  former  born  in  1818  and  the  latter 
in  1812;  they  had  a  family  of  nine  children.  .John  Minick  went  to  Ohio  in 
the  prime  of  early  youth,  and  for  several  years  followed  his  trade,  that  of  a 
carder  and  fuller,  at  Canton,  and  subsequently  at  Akron.  He  was  married  in 
Ohio,  and  in  1851  went  to  Allen  County,  Ind.,  where  his  death  occurred  in 
1856.  His  widow  was  afterward  married  to  David  Perky  and  moved  to  De 
Kalb  County,  Ind.,  where  she  died  in  1878.  William  Minick,  from  fourteen 
until  twenty-two  years  of  age,  worked  oat  by  the  month,  and  in  1859  came  to 
this  township,  where  he  managed  a  farm  one  year  on  shares.  November  6, 
1860,  he  voted  for  Abraham  Lincoln,  and  was  married  the  same  day  to  Han- 
nah L.  Cain,  who  was  born  in  Johnson  Township,  this  county,  November  1, 
1842,  and  is  one  of  eight  in  the  family  of  Simeon  and  Ann  (Oliver)  Cain,  the 
former  of  whom  was  born  in  New  York  November  1,  1808,  and  the  latter  in 
Clark  County,  Ohio,  October  6,  1813.  In  1861,  Mr.  Minick  bought  a  farm  in 
Williams  County,  Ohio,  and  in  1868  traded  the  same  for  one  in  Defiance 
County,  Ohio,  where  he  resided  until  he  located  on  his  present  'farm  in  this 
township  in  1874.  He  owns  120  acres,  and  in  connection  with  farming  is 
engaged  in  selling  agricultural  implements.  He  is  a  Republican,  and  a  mem- 
ber of  the  Meridian  Sun  Lodge,  No.  76,  A.,  F.  &  A.  M.  He  joined  the 
Masonic  Order  at  Edgerton,  Ohio.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Minick  have  four  children, 
William  W.,  a  school  teacher,  Anna  M.,  Frank  A.  and  Charles  A.  Three  of 
the  subject's  brothers  served  in  the  late  war,  John  L.  in  Company  A,  Forty- 
fourth  Indiana  Volunteer  Infantry  ;  he  died  at  Indianapolis  in  1864  ;  George 
W.  in  Company  A,  Thirty-eighth  Ohio  Volunteer  Infantry,  and  Joseph  S.  in 
CoDHpany  A,  Twenty-first  Indiana  Heavy  Artillery.  The  two  last  named  are 
residents  of  Muskegon,  Mich. 

BENJAMIN  S.  MITCHELL,  a  native  of  Westmoreland  County,  Penn., 
born  December  22,  1811,  is  one  of  eleven  in  the  family  of  Hugh  and  Phoebe 
(McClure)  Mitchell.  The  parents  were  natives  of  Trenton,  N.  J.,  and  Ches- 
ter County,  Penn.,  respectively,  and  Hugh  Mitchell  was  Quartermaster  in  the 
Revolutionary  war,  also  a  commissioned  officer  in  the  New  Jersey  militia  dur- 
ing the  whisky  rebellion  there ;  his  father,  Randall  Mitchell,  was  a  wealthy 
merchant  of  Trenton.  Hugh  Mitchell,  when  a  young  man,  went  to  West- 
moreland County,  Penn.,  where  he  clerked,  taught  school  and  was  married ;  subse- 
quently removing  to  Ashland  County,  Ohio,  where  he  died  at  the  home  of  his 
son  Benjamin,  October  4,  1834;  his  wife  died  on  the  11th  of  the  succeeding 
April.    The  subject,  at  the  age  of  twelve,  began  working  out  by  the  month,  and 


BLOOMFIELD  TOWNSHIP.  303 

at  seventeen  rented  land  in  Ashland  County,  Ohio,  and  moved  to  Huron 
County,  Ohio,  where  he  kept  hotel  six  and  a  half  years,  next  engaging  in  the 
drover  business,  then  in  mercantile  pursuits,  continuing  the  latter  six  years  at 
Fitchville,  Huron  Co.,  Ohio.  In  1861,  he  bought  his  farm  in  this  township 
where  he  is  living.  He  belongs  to,  and  was  a  charter  member  of  Floral  Lodge, 
No.  160,  A.,  F,  &  A.  M.,  at  Fitchville,  Ohio,  and  is  also  a  member  of  Huron 
Chapter,  No.  7,  R.  A.  M.  His  wife  is  a  member  of  the  M.  E.  Church,  and  is 
the  daughter  of  Frederick  and  Martha  (Angel)  Draggoo,  who  had  thirteen 
children,  and  were  natives  respectively  of  New  Jersey  and  Pennsylvania.  Mr. 
Draggoo  Avas  a  soldier  in  the  war  of  1812  ;  his  daughter  Eleanor  was  born  May 
26,  1815,  in  Mercer  County,  Penn.,  and  was  married  to  Benjamin  Mitchell  Jan- 
uary 3,  1833.  They  have  had  six  children,  two  of  whom  are  living — Martha, 
now  Mrs.  Samuel  E.  Beans,  and  Dora  M.,  now  Mrs.  William  H.  Biddle. 

ISAAC  B.  NEWELL  is  a  native  of  Easton,  Washington  Co.,  N.  Y. 
His  parents  were  John  and  Joanna  (Reynolds)  Newell;  the  former  was  born 
in  Old  Hadley,  Conn.,  in  1762,  and  the  latter  in  New  York,  Washington 
County,  in  1772.  They  had  twelve  children,  all  of  whom  grew  to  maturity. 
Isaac  Newell  was  born  July  14,  1803,  married  January  4,  1829,  and  came  to 
Bloomfield  Township  in  1840,  where  he  has  since  lived  on  the  140-acre  farm 
that  he  has  cleared  and  improved.  Shortly  after  coming  here  he  had  a  narrow 
escape  from  the  wolves,  and  himself  and  wife  were  once  attacked  by  a  panther 
and  chased  into  their  cabin.  Mr.  Newell  was  an  active  Regulator,  and  owns  a 
horse  that  will  be  twenty-seven  years  old  in  May,  1882.  Mr.  and  Mrs  Newell 
have  four  children — Sabrina  P.,  Harriet  T.,  now  Mrs.  Thurstin;  Charity  V., 
now  Mrs.  Reed,  and  Anna  M.,  now  Mrs.  Bunn.  Mrs.  Lucretia  Newell  was 
born  in  Pine  Plains,  Dutchess  Co.,  N.  Y.,  May  27,  1805,  and  was  married  to 
the  subject  in  Conquest,  Cayuga  Co.,  N.  Y.  Her  parents,  Jacob  and  Charity 
(Pulver)  Vandewater,  were  born  in  New  York.  Her  ancestors  were  among  the 
first  Dutch  settlers  in  that  State,  and  she  has  in  her  possession  a  chest  brought 
by  them  from  Holland. 

HARVEY  OLMSTEAD  was  born  December  7,  1811,  near  Lundy's 
Lane,  Canada,  and  worked  for  some  time  on  his  father's  farms  in  Pennsvlvania 
and  Ohio,  and  five  years  on  the  New  York  &  Erie  Canal.  In  1833,  he  came 
to  Springfield  Township,  this  county,  where  he  built  a  cabin  on  a  tract  of  Gov- 
ernment land  in  Brushy  Prairie,  and  worked  at  splitting  rails  until  he  had 
saved  $50,  when  he  entered  the  forty  acres  of  land  upon  which  he  was  alreadv 
located.  He  now  owns  320  acres  in  that  township,  and  a  farm  of  100  acres  in 
this  township  which  he  bought  in  1874,  and  upon  which  he  has  since  lived. 
Mr.  Olmstead  is  one  of  the  oldest  settlers  in  the  county,  and  took  an  active 
part  in  the  Regulator  movement.  His  parents  were  Jacob  and  Elizabeth 
(Venater)  Olmstead,  the  former  born  in  Vermont  in  1786,  and  the  latter  in 
1788  in  Pennsylvania,  where  they  were  married.  In  1807.  Jacob  Olmstead 
went  to  Canada,  and  served  in  the  war  of  1812,  first  as  a  British  soldier,  but 
subsequently  deserted  and  entered  the  United  States  Army.  After  the  war,  he 
settled  with  his  family  in  New  York,  but  subsequently  resided  in  the  States  of 
Pennsylvania,  Ohio,  Indiana,  Michigan.  Illinois  and  Iowa,  finally  returning  to 
this  county,  where  he  died  in  April,  1869.  Mrs.  Elizabeth  Olmstead  died  in 
Michigan  in  1835  or  1836.  Mr.  Harvey  Olmstead  has  been  left  a  widower 
four  times.  His  first  wife,  to  whom  he  was  married  April  17,  1834,  was 
Sarah  Gage,  a  native  of  New  York,  born  February  4,  1813,  and  daughter  of 
Abraham  and  Polly  (Biengton)  Gage,  of  Vermont.     She  died  July  11,  1841, 


304  BIOGRAPHICAL    SKETCHES: 

and  of  four  children  born  to  them,  one  only  is  living — Elijah.  March  2, 
1842,  Mr.  Olmstead  was  married  to  Mrs.  Mary  (Gage)  Anderson,  a  native  of 
Rutland,  Vt.,  born  February  25,  1815,  and  the  daughter  of  Isaac  and  Perley 
(Howard)  Gage,  of  Vermont.  They  had  four  children,  two  of  whom  are  liv- 
ing— Mary,  now  Mrs.  Samuel  Cline,  and  Frank  B.  Mrs.  Mary  Olmstead  died 
August  19, 1852.  His  third  wife  was  Elizabeth  Burrell.  Thfey  were  married 
in  1853,  and  she  died  in  1865,  leaving  four  children — Albert  A.,  Clara  A., 
now  Mrs.  Jennings ;  Elizabeth  C,  now  Mrs.  Routsong,  and  Jacob  A.  Mr. 
■Olmstead's  last  marriage  took  place  March  6,  1866,  to  Lydia  C.  McNulty, 
who  died  January  21.  1882,  having  borne  her  husband  two  sons — Charles  H. 
and  George. 

ALBERT  PRESTON  was  born  May  25, 1840,  in  Trumbull  County,  Ohio. 
His  father  was  James  Preston,  a  native  of  Beaver  County,  Penn.,  where  his  birth 
occurred  in  1809,  December  9.  His  mother,  Mrs.  Mary  A.  (Matthews)  Pres- 
ton, was  born  in  Trumbull  County,  Ohio,  April  1,  1816.  Albert  Preston  is 
•one  of  twelve  children ;  in  1853,  accompanied  his  parents  to  Indiana,  and 
worked  on  his  father's  farm  in  this  township  until  1859,  when  he  began  an  ap- 
prenticeship at  the  carpenter's  trade  with  John  Q.  Reed,  of  La  Grange.  He 
worked  at  carpentering  summers,  and  attended  school  winters,  until  August, 
1861,  when  he  enlisted  in  Company  G,  Thirtieth  Indiana  Volunteer  Infantry, 
and  was  mustered  into  service  September  24, 1861.  He  was  with  his  regiment 
in  the  battles  of  Shiloh,  Corinth,  Stone  River,  Chattanooga,  and  was  wounded 
at  Rocky  Face,  Ga.,  May  9,  1864,  after  which  he  was  detailed  as  Commissary 
Sergeant,  at  Gen.  Grose's  brigade  headquarters,  where  he  remained  until  he 
was  mustered  out  at  Indianapolis  September  29, 1864.  He  married  Miss  Mary 
J.  Moore,  December  14,  1864.  She  was  born  July  15,  1842,  in  Trumbull 
•County,  Ohio,  and  is  the  only  child  of  Andrew  B.  and  Jane  L.  (Thomas) 
Moore,  the  former  a  native  of  Trumbull  County,  Ohio,  and  the  latter  of  Wales. 
Mr.  Preston  has  been  engaged  in  farming  and  the  stock  business  ever  since  the 
war,  settling  on  his  present  farm  in  1871.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Preston  are  Presby- 
terians, and  have  had  born  to  them  four  children,  three  of  whom  are  living, 
■namely,  Effie  M.,  Francis  A.  and  Alice  L. 

JAMES  M.  PRESTON  was  born  in  Youngstown,  Ohio,  February  17, 
1835,  and  is  the  son  of  John  and  Ellen  Preston,  natives  respectively  of  Penn- 
sylvania and  Ireland.  Mrs.  Preston  died  in  Youngstown,  Ohio,  when  the  sub- 
ject was  but  eight  months  old.  John  Preston  came  to  Indiana  in  1850,  and  is 
yet  living  in  this  county  ;  he  is  seventy-three  years  old,  and  devotes  his  time 
•exclusively  to  farming,  having  in  his  younger  days  followed  mechanical  pur- 
suits. James  Preston  came  to  this  State  with  his  father ;  the  latter  ran  a  saw- 
mill about  twelve  years,  in  which  James  M.  was  employed  part  of  his  time.  He 
was  married  in  this  county,  September  15,  1857,  to  Lockey  J.  Price,  a  native 
of  Preble  County,  Ohio,  and  the  daughter  of  Francis  and  Sarah  Price,  the  for- 
mer a  native  of  Virginia,  and  the  latter  of  New  Jersey ;  they  came  to  Noble 
€ounty,  Ind.,  in  1841,  and  six  months  after  moved  to  this  county,  on  the  farm 
now  owned  and  occupied  by  the  subject,  where  they  died.  Mr.  Preston,  after 
renting  land  two  years,  settled  on  twenty-eight  acres  given  him  by  his  father, 
and  began  dealing  in  organs  and  other  musical  instruments,  which  business  he 
/has  successfully  continued  up  to  the  present  time.  He  carries  a  full  line  of 
:goods,  and  all  orders  for  music  are  promptly  filled.  About  1870,  he  opened  an 
•office  in  La  Grange.  From  1874  to  1880,  he  was  engaged  in  the  sale  of  agri- 
cultural implements  and  sewing  machines.     Mr,  Preston  owns  eighty  acres  of 


BLOOMFIELD  TOWNSHIP.  305 

land,  which  is  farmed  under  his  supervision.  Himself  and  wife  are  members  of 
the  Presbyterian  Church,  and  have  had  three  children — Ella  E.,  Frank  and 
Marion,  deceased. 

H.  M.  PRICE  was  born  in  this  county  July  16,  1843,  and  is  the 
youngest  of  nine  children  born  to  Francis  M.  and  Sarah  (Miller)  Price,  the  lat- 
ter of  whom  was  born  October  5,  1801,  in  Elizabethtown,  N.  J.  Francis  Price 
was  a  native  of  Montgomery  County,  Va.,  born  May  8,  1797,  and  when  four 
years  old  moved  with  his  parents  to  Preble  County,  Ohio,  where  he  received  a 
fair  education  and  when  quite  young  served  an  apprenticeship  of  four  years  at 
the  tanner's  trade.  When  of  age  he  started  for  Oregon,  but,  after  reaching  St. 
Louis,  abandoned  that  project,  and  for  six  months  ran  a  ferry  boat  at  St. 
Charles.  Returning  to  Ohio,  he  followed  his  trade  until  1835,  when  he  trav- 
eled over  Indiana  and  Illinois,  returning  to  Preble  County  the  same  year  to 
resume  his  trade.  In  1836,  he  entered  320  acres  of  land  in  this  township,  110 
of  which  is  now  owned  by  the  subject.  In  1840,  he  went  to  Noble  County, 
and  entered  about  800  acres  of  land;  located  in  this  township  in  1841,  where 
he  died  January  30,  1878.  Mrs.  Sarah  Price  died  July  29,  1872.  They 
were  members  of  the  Presbyterian  Church,  and  he  was  a  Republican.  Henry 
M.  Price,  in  1864,  with  his  brother  Thomas,  went  to  California,  via  New  York 
and  Panama,  returning  in  1868  via  Nicaragua  to  this  township  where  he  bought 
his  present  farm.  While  in  California  he  was  engaged  in  the  stock  business, 
and  made  a  second  trip  there,  but  returned  in  1871,  and  was  married  Novem- 
ber 23  of  that  year  to  Elizabeth  P.  Hoagland,  who  was  born  June  28,  1844, 
in  this  county.  She  is  one  of  eight  in  the  family  of  Jacob  and  Sarah  E.  (Sher- 
man) Hoagland,  natives  of  New  York.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Price  have  no  children  ; 
she  is  a  member  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church.  Edwin  L.  Price,  a  broth- 
er of  the  subject,  went  to  California  in  1849,  where  he  was  engaged  in  mining 
and  farming  for  sometime  ;  he  died  there  December  4,  1874.  Another  brother 
— Harvey — went  to  that  State  in  1852,  engaged  in  mining,  and  has  not  been 
heard  from  since  1871.  Thomas  Price  is  supposed  to  have  been  killed  by  the 
Indians  in  Idaho  in  1870. 

MANLEY  RICHARDS,  one  of  five  children  born  to  Joseph  and  Rachel 
(Davidson)  Richards,  is  a  native  of  Clark  County,  Ohio,  where  his  birth  oc- 
curred October  29,  1829.  His  father  was  born  in  Virginia,  July  5,  1803,  and 
reared  in  Clark  County,  Ohio,  where  his  marriage  occurred.  He  emigrated  to 
this  county  in  1836,  and  entered  80  acres  of  land  in  this  township,  a  part  of 
which  is  now  included  in  the  farm  of  Manley  Richards,  Here  he  built  a  log 
house  and  began  clearing,  owning  at  the  time  of  his  death,  in  November,  1849, 
120  acres  of  well  improved  land.  Manley  Richards  acquired  a  common-school 
education  while  assisting  on  the  home  farm.  After  his  father's  death,  himself 
and  brother  farmed  the  old  homestead  until  1856,  when  Manley  Richards  pur- 
chased his  brother's  interest.  He  has  now  145  acres.  April  2,  1857,  he  mar- 
ried Elizabeth  Barnes,  and  two  children  born  to  them  are  living,  Annetta,  now 
Mrs.  Sherman,  and  Albert  R.  The  mother  died  at  her  home  December  22, 
1875.  She  was  born  in  Ohio  June  4,  1839,  and  was  the  daughter  of  Edmund 
and  Susan  (Beardsley)  Barnes,  natives  of  New  York.  Mr.  Richards  is  a 
Democrat,  and  a  thriving  farmer. 

FRANKLIN  RIFE  is  the  only  child  of  Abraham  and  Susan  (Lighter) 
Rife,  natives  of  Pennsylvania ;  the  former  died  in  1842,  in  Richland  County, 
Ohio,  where  Franklin  was  born  October  26,  1833.  Mrs.  Susan  Rife  is  living, 
and  resides  with  the  subject.      He  learned  the   carpenters'  trade   in  his  early 


306  BIOGRAPHICAL   SKETCHES: 

manhood,  and  followed  the  same  until  1872,  since  which  time  he  has  been  en- 
gaged in  farming.  He  bought  a  farm  in  this  township  in  1856,  which  he 
exchanged  in  1864  for  the  one  where  he  is  now  living.  Mr.  Rife  came  to  this 
township  in  1855,  and  after  he  was  married,  October  20,  1856,  took  a  trip  to 
Ashland  County,  Ohio,  returning  to  this  township  in  the  following  spring, 
where  he  owns  110  acres  of  desirable  land.  Mrs.  Mary  A.  Rife  is  the  daugh- 
ter of  Isaac  and  Sophia  (Ernsberger)  Hogmire.  She  was  born  in  Ashland 
County,  Ohio,  on  the  26th  of  March,  1839.  Seven  children  have  been  born 
to  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Rife — Samantha,  deceased  September  26,  1863 ;  Ida  A.,  now 
Mrs.  Wyland  ;  Laura  :  Elmer  A. ;  Susanna,  died  May  12, 1871 ;  Maggie  M.  and 
Lilly  B. 

*  JOSEPH  ROYER,  son  of  Jacob  and  Mary  (Michael)  Royer,  is  a  native 
of  Summit  County,  Ohio,  where  his  birth  occurred  November  11,  1838.  Hi& 
parents  were  natives  of  Pennsylvania.  His  father,  soon  after  he  was  married, 
moved  to  Summit  County,  Ohio,  where  he  bought  a  farm  and  resided  until 
about  1858,  then  removed  to  Uniontown,  Stark  Co.,  Ohio,  where  his  wife 
died  in  July,  1861.  He  died  at  the  same  place  in  1879,  having,  however, 
married  a  second  time.  At  the  age  of  eighteen  Joseph  Royer  learned  carpen- 
tering ;  previous  to  this  had  worked  on  his  father's  farm.  He  followed  his  trade 
several  years  in  Ohio,  and  continued  it  in  Johnson  Township,  this  county, 
after  moving  there  in  1?61.  In  1865,  he  bought  80  acres  of  unimproved  land 
and  worked  at  clearing  in  addition  to  carpentering.  In  1873,  he  sold  out  and 
rented  a  farm  near  Wolcottville,  remaining  until  August,  1874,  when  he  came 
to  his  present;  location,  having  purchased  it  the  preceding  spring.  Mr  Royer 
was  married  May  12,  1864,  to  Elizabeth  P.  Eshleman,  daughter  of  Joseph  and 
Mary  (Erford)  Eshleman,  natives  of  Pennsylvania.  She  was  born  January  2, 
1845,  in  Summit  County,  Ohio,  and  is  one  of  eight  children.  Mr.  and  Mrs- 
Royer  have  had  three  children,  Elmer  E.,  Mary  L.  and  Emma  M.  Mr.  Royer 
is  a  Republican,  and  himself  and  family  are  all  members  of  the  Evangelical 
Church. 

MRS.  MARIA  SARGENT  Avas  born  at  Lock,  Cayuga  Co.,  N.  Y., 
October  27,  1808.  Her  father — James  Young — was  a  native  of  Ireland  and 
a  soldier  of  the  war  of  1812.  He  held  two  prominent  county  offices  in  Ca- 
yuga County,  N.  Y.  Her  mother — Mary  (Mow)  Young — was  of  French 
descent.  She  died  at  Lock,  N.  Y.,  September  20,  1845,  in  her  seventy-eighth 
year.  She  was  a  member  of  the  M.  E.  Church.  They  were  the  parents  of 
eleven  boys  and  two  girls.  Maria,  when  ten  years  of  age,  went  to  live  with 
Moses  Dixon,  at  Brutus,  N.  Y.,  and  remained  until  February  28,  1830,  when 
she  was  married  to  David  Sargent.  They  came  to  this  township  in  1840,  he 
having  traded  his  farm  in  New  York  for  lan<l  here,  where  Mrs.  Sargent  now 
lives.  This  farm  Mr.  Sargent  cleared  and  improved.  Soon  after  coming  here 
he  had  a  barn  raising  and  invited  his  neighbors  to  assist,  as  was  customary  in 
those  days.  This  they  refused  to  do  unless  supplied  with  liquor,  which  Mr. 
Sargent  refused  them,  he  being  a  strict  temperance  man,  making  a  speech  that 
had  the  desired  effect.  The  barn  is  still  standing  and  was  the  first  raised  in 
the  township  where  liquor  was  not  used.  Mr.  Sargent  died  at  his  home  Sep- 
tember 15,  1881.  He  was  a  member  of  the  M.  E.  Church  and  was  a  much 
beloved  and  respected  citizen.  He  was  a  native  of  New  Hampshire,  where  his 
birth  occurred  January  3,  1805.  Of  eight  children  born  to  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Sargent,  five  are  living,  viz. :  Eliza  R.,  now  Mrs.  McKibben  ;  Maria  M.,  now 
Mrs.  John  Preston;  Alfred;  Janet,  now  Mrs.  Rowe;  and  Mary  A.,  now  Mrs. 
Hodgson. 


BLOOMFIELD  TOWx\SHIP.  307 

ELIAS  SCHROCK  first  came  to  Indiana  in  1842,  with  his  father,  and 
worked  at  farming  and  in  a  saw-mill  until  he  was  twenty-two  years  old,  when 
he  bought  126  acres  of  land  in  Elkhart  County.  Previous  to  coming  here  he 
had  worked,  from  the  age  of  seven  to  fourteen,  in  a  carding  factory  in  Ohio. 
After  selling  his  first  purchase  in  Elkhart  County  in  1853,  he  bought  another 
farm  of  160  acres  north  of  Goshen.  In  1865,  he  sold  and  came  to  Clearspring 
Township,  this  county,  bought  a  farm,  sold  it  1872  and  moved  to  Eden  Town- 
ship ;  purchased  200  acres  of  land  and  sold  it  in  1873,  for  |100  per  acre ;  next 
locating  in  this  township,  where  he  has  a  farm  of  180  acres.  March  5,  1850, 
Mr.  Schi-ock  was  married  to  Eliza  Gerber.  She  was  born.  May  13,  1826,  in 
Stark  County,  Ohio,  and  his  birth  occurred  March  11,  1826,  in  Holmes  County, 
Ohio.  She  was  the  eldest  of  thirteen  children  born  to  David  and  Susanna 
(Buchtel)  Gerber,  natives  of  Pennsylvania.  They  are  members  of  the  German 
luiptist  Church,  of  which  Mr.  Shrock  has  been  a  minister  about  fourteen  years. 
They  have  had  nine  children — Anna  B.,  now  Mrs.  Yoder:  Louis  C,  who  died 
July  8,  1874;  Lydia  M.,  now  Mrs.  Berkey;  Susanna,  now  Mrs.  W.  H.  Swi- 
hart;  Harriet  E.,  now  Mrs.  Rudisill;  David  D. ;  Melvin  C. ;  Emma  D. ;  and 
Mary  R.  The  parents  of  Elias  Schrock  were  David  and  Margaret  (Borntrager) 
Schrock,  both  natives  of  Lancaster  County,  Penn.,  the  former  born  August 
24,  1797,  and  the  latter  November  26,  1790.  David  Schrock,  when  about 
eighteen,  moved  to  Holmes  County,  Ohio,  where  he  was  married  in  April,  1817. 
His  business  was  carpentering  and  farming,  and  he  was  a  member  of  the  Amish 
Church  until  after  Mrs.  Schrock 's  death,  December  22,  1850.  Mr.  Schi'ock 
was  again  married,  in  1852,  to  Mrs.  Melissa  (Ball)  De  France,  a  native  of  the 
East,  and  on  the  day  of  their  union  both  united  with  the  German  Baptist 
Church.  In  May,  1842,  he  moved  to  Elkhart  County,  Ind.,  farmed  and  ope- 
rated a  saw-mill  until  he  entered  the  mercantile  business  at  Goshen.  He  died 
October  31,  1873.  His  ancestors  were  Swiss  and  German  and  he  was  the 
father  of  eight  children. 

ISAAC  SEARS  is  a  native  of  Onondaga  County,  N.  Y.,  born  Novem- 
ber 7,  1828,  is  the  son  of  Eleazer  and  Sarah  Sears,  natives  of  New  York,  the 
former  of  Saratoga  and  the  latter  of  Onondaga  County.  They  came  to  this 
county  in  1841,  and  located  on  Brushy  Prairie,  where  they  died  and  were  in- 
terred in  Brushy  Prairie  Cemetery.  Eleazer  Sears  died  from  an  accident 
caused  by  a  team  running  away  that  was  hitched  to  a  reaper,  from  which  he 
received  injuries  and  expired  about  seven  hours  afterward.  Isaac  Sears  re- 
ceived an  average  education,  and  remained  with  his  parents  until  he  was  mar- 
ried, February  13,  1853,  in  this  township,  to  Miss  Laurinda  Tuttle.  Her 
parents.  Lemon  and  Diadamie  Tuttle,  were  natives  of  Ohio  and  farmers  by 
occupation ;  they  died  in  this  county.  Subject  and  wife  settled  on  a  farm  of 
236  acres,  in  Springfield  Township,  this  county,  that  Mr.  Sears  had  previously 
purchased.  He  increased  his  land  to  436  acres,  and  farmed  and  raised  live 
stock  on  a  large  scale.  May  10,  1874,  his  wife  died  and  he  was  married  in 
Onondaga  County,  N.  Y.,  February  11,  1875,  to  Miss  Sarah  Van  Alstine,  the 
daughter  of  James  and  Abigail  Van  Alstine,  natives  of  New  York,  where  her 
father  died  and  her  mother  is  yet  living,  at  the  age  of  sixty-six.  They  removed 
from  Springfield  to  this  township  in  October,  1880,  where  they  have  a  well  im- 
proved farm,  good  buildings  and  fine  brick  residence.  Mr.  Sears  now  owns 
868  acres  of  land,  and  has  given  eighty  acres  to  his  son.  All  of  his  property 
has  been  accumulated  by  his  own  efforts  and  industry,  with  the  exception  of 
100  acres  of  land  and  $400  in  money,  that  he  inherited.     He  is  extensively 


308  BIOGRAPHICAL  SKETCHES: 

engaged  in  live  stock  dealing,  and  hia  farm  annually  yields  large  profits.  For 
1878,  the  wheat  crop  alone  was  3,000  bushels,  averaging  thirty-two  bushels  per 
acre.  Mr.  Sears  is  one  of  the  most  prominent  citizens,  and  has  two  sons, 
Charles  E.  and  David  A.,  both  of  whom  are  married. 

ORMUND  SISSON  is  a  native  of  Norway,  Oneida  County,  N.  Y., 
where  his  birth  occurred  March  18,  1810.  He  is  the  son  of  Abraham  and 
Amy  (Cole)  Sisson,  and  the  youngest  of  three  children.  When  Ormund  was 
ten  years  old  his  mother  died,  and  he  was  bound  out  to  Alfred  Martin,  with 
whom  he  remained  until  he  was  eighteen,  then  went  to  Ontario  County,  N.  Y., 
and  was  employed  working  on  a  farm  and  stage  driving,  afterward  learning  the 
carpenter's  trade,  which  he  has  followed  to  some  extent  ever  since.  He  re- 
ceived but  a  few  months  schooling,  and  December  2.5,  1832,  was  married  to 
Ann  Brooks,  who  was  born  in  England  June  13,  1817,  and  is  one  of  nine 
children  in  the  family  of  George  and  Elizabeth  (Smith)  Brooks.  In  October, 
1841,  Mr.  Sisson  bought  eighty  acres  of  land  in  Steuben  County,  Ind.  In 
1852,  he  returned  to  Ohio  and  engaged  in  the  grocery  business  at  Montpelier. 
He  continued  this  enterprise  about  a  year,  then  settled  on  a  farm  in  Williams 
County,  Ohio ;  disposing  of  his  property  in  1854,  he  emigrated  to  Indiana, 
bought  his  farm  of  120  acres,  and  has  ever  since  resided  in  this  township. 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  Sisson  have  had  nine  children  born  to  them — Elizabeth  (now  Mrs. 
Metzger),  William  A.,  Edward  0., George  K.,  Laura  P.  (now  Mrs.  Spears),  Amy 
A.  (now  Mrs.  Munger),  John  H..  Albert  H.  and  Edgar  F.  Edward  0.  served 
in  the  recent  war,  was  a  member  of  Company  G,  Eighty-eighth  Indiana  Vol- 
unteer Infantry.  George  K.  served  in  the  same  company  and  regiment.  He- 
died  in  hospital,  January  20,  1863,  at  Nashville,  Tenn. 

SAMUEL  SOMES  came  to  this  township  in  1855,  and  in  1859  bought 
eighty  acres  of  unimproved  land  which  is  now  a  cleared  and  improved  farm, 
comprising  one  hundred  and  twenty  acres.  The  four  years  preceding  this  he 
worked  out  by  the  month,  receiving  from  $12  to  $15  wages.  He  was  married, 
January  1,  1861,  to  Sarah  A.  Mills,  a  native  of  Cayuga,  N.  Y.,  where  she 
was  born  April  3,  1838.  She  is  one  of  three  children  in  the  family  of  Jacob 
and  Margaret  (Passage)  Mills.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Somes  have  a  family  of  three 
children — Eugene  S.,  Ettie  J.  and  Nathaniel  W.  Mr.  Somes  has  been  a  mem- 
ber of  the  I.  0.  0.  F.  for  about  eighteen  years,  and  has  passed  all  the  chairs. 
He  is  the  son  of  Samuel  and  Mary  (Barnes)  Somes,  of  New  York,  and  is  next 
to  the  youngest  of  eight  children,  all  of  whom  are  living,  subject  being  born 
March  10,  1834.  Mr.  Somes  served  actively  in  the  Regulator  movement,  and 
is  a  substantial  farmer  and  citizen. 

ANDREW  J.  TAGGART  is  the  son  of  James  and  Sarah  (McCasson) 
Taggart,  of  Salem  County,  N.  J.,  who  moved  in  1823  or  1824  to  Muskingum 
County,  Ohio,  where  Andrew  J.,  one  of  nine  children,  was  born  May  18, 
1829.  James  Taggart  died  in  Licking  County,  Ohio,  in  1837,  after  residing 
there  two  years.  Mrs.  Sarah  Taggart  subsequently  went  to  Fairfield  County, 
Ohio,  where  her  death  occurred  May  29.  1869.  They  were  both  descendants 
of  Quaker  families,  and  Mr.  Taggart  followed  tailoring  in  the  early  part  of  his 
life,  but  latterly  became  a  farmer.  In  1853,  Andrew  J.  Taggart  started  from 
Hebron,  Licking  Co.,  Ohio,  overland  to  California,  in  company  with  four  others. 
While  in  Salt  Lake  Valley,  the  Mormons  threatened  to  prosecute  them  for 
burning  timber  on  Government  land,  the  Mormons  claiming  it  as  their  own. 
In  California  Mr.  Taggart  kept  a  trading-post  near  the  summit  of  the  Sierra 
Range,  about  two  months,  during  which  time  he  met  with  an  adventure  with  a 


BLOOMFIELD  TOWNSHIP.  309 

grizzly  bear.  For  three  years  lie  was  engaged  in  mining,  then  returned  to 
Licking  County,  Ohio,  arriving  December  31,  1856.  He  came  to  this  town- 
ship in  1857,  and  was  married,  February  4,  1858,  to  Helen  M.  Gould.  She 
was  born  September  5,  1839,  in  Marion  County,  Ohio,  and  her  parents,  natives 
respectively  of  Vermont  and  Ohio,  were  Hiram  and  Abigail  (Brundage)  Gould. 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  Taggart  had  five  children,  three  now  living — Jennie  A.,  Hiram 
J.  and  Frank.  Mrs.  Taggart  died  April  7,  1873,  and  Mr.  Taggart  was  mar- 
ried to  Nancy  J.  Schermerhorn  June  21,  1877.  She  was  born  in  this  county 
March  Iti,  1855.  Her  parents  were  Michael  and  Mary  (Poynter)  Schermer- 
horn, Maud  A.  is  the  only  child  of  the  subject  and  wife.  Mr.  Taggart  is  a 
member  of  the  I.  0.  0.  F.,  which  order  he  joined  in  California. 

JAMES  THOMPSON  was  born  in  Marion  County,  Ohio,  December  11, 
1835,  and  is  the  eldest  child  of  Joel  and  Lucinda  (Odle)  Thompson.  The  lat- 
ter was  born  July  21,  1810,  in  Maryland.  Her  father,  William  Odle,  served 
in  the  war  of  1812,  and  was  stationed  several  months  at  Fort  Wayne.  tJoel 
Thompson,  a  native  of  Pennsylvania,  born  February  26,  1813,  was  orphaned 
at  an  early  age,  but  cared  for  until  the  age  of  thirteen  by  an  uncle,  John 
Thompson,  by  whom  he  was  taken  to  Marion  County,  Ohio,  and  afterward  lived 
with  James  Dota  until  he  became  of  age.  He  was  married,  February  9,  1835, 
and  settled  on  eighty  acres  of  land  given  him  by  Mr.  Dota  in  Marion  County. 
In  1842,  he  sold  out  and  came  to  this  county  ;  bought  eighty  acres  of  land  on 
Brushy  Prairie,  built  a  house  and  began  clearing.  He  again  sold  in  1854,  and 
came  to  this  township ;  bought  a  farm  of  eighty  acres ;  sold  in  1862,  and 
removed  to  La  Grange,  where  he  died  December  28,  1868.  Mrs.  Lucinda 
Thompson  died  at  the  home  of  the  subject  in  this  township  May  2,  1875.  She 
was  a  member  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church.  James  Thompson  was  com- 
monly educated  and  reared  on  his  father's  farm.  November  2,  1859,  he  was 
married  to  Miss  Patience  Clark,  who  was  born  in  Fulton  County,  N.  Y., 
August  5,  1835,  the  daughter  of  John  Y.  and  Hester  (Westbrook)  Clark.  They 
have  two  childrern — Clara  B.  and  Lenora.  For  six  years  Mr,  Thompson  farmed 
on  shares  for  his  father,  then  removed  to  Johnson  Township,  this  county.  In  1871, 
he  bought  the  farm  of  eighty  acres  in  this  township  where  he  continues  to  reside. 

EDWARD  W.  VALENTINE  is  the  son  of  John  and  Sarah  (Talbott) 
Valentine,  natives  of  Maryland.  In  early  manhood,  John  Valentine  went  to 
Fairfield  County,  Ohio,  where  he  owned  a  farm  and  was  married.  About  1828, 
he  moved  to  Seneca  County,  Ohio,  entered  160  acres,  and  lived  there  until  his 
death,  which  occurred  in  October,  1863.  He  served  in  the  war  of  1812.  Mrs. 
Sarah  Valentine  died  in  November,  1867.  They  were  both  members  of  the  M. 
E.  Church,  and  had  a  family  of  ten  children.  Edward  W.  was  born  in  Seneca 
County,  Ohio,  March  5, 1832,  and,  until  he  became  of  age,  worked  on  the  home 
farm ;  after  which,  he  farmed  for  his  father  eleven  years  on  shares.  In  1864, 
he  removed  to  and  located  permanently  in  this  township,  where  he  owns  a  well- 
improved  farm  of  120  acres.  September  6,  1855,  he  was  married  to  Lydia  A. 
Coon,  who  was  born  in  Canada  February  10,  1839,  and  is  one  of  seven  in  the 
family  of  J.  W.  and  Eliza  C  (Shipman)  Coon,  natives  of  Canada.  Mr.  Valen- 
tine is  a  reliable  and  enterprising  Republican  citizen.  They  have  had  a  family 
of  five  children — Salina  B.  (now  Mrs.  Rose),  Viola  V.,  Revilow  L.  (who  died 
at  his  father's  home,  February  4,  1882,  in  his  twenty-second  year),  Nettie  M. 
and  Lilly  Bertha. 

DAVID  VAN  KIRK  is  a  native  of  Westmoreland  County,  Penn.,  where 
he  was  born  August  20,  1827.    His  parents,  Thomas  and  Eleanor  (Johnson)  Van 


310  BIOGRAPHICAL    SKETCHES: 

Kirk,  were  born  in  the  same  county — September  16,  1791,  and  October  17, 
1800,  being  the  respective  dates  of  their  births  ;  ten  of  eleven  children  born  to 
them  are  yet  living.  Thomas  Van  Kirk  was  in  the  war  of  1812,  moved  to  Rich- 
land County,  Ohio,  in  1830,  and  two  years  afterward  entered  eighty  acres  of 
land  in  Seneca  County,  that  he  subsequently  traded  for  160  acres  of  improved 
land  in  Huron  County,  Ohio.  He  sold  this  farm  in  1845,  and  came  to  this 
township,  built  a  saw  and  carding  mill,  which  he  was  engaged  in  operating  up 
to  the  time  of  his  death,  which  occurred  September  1,  1861.  David  Van  Kirk 
worked  in  his  father's  mill  from  1846  to  1850,  and  after  his  marriage,  Novem- 
ber 2,  1851,  farmed  on  shares  several  years,  buying,  in  1855,  the  farm  upon 
which  he  now  dwells.  It  compi'ises  108  acres,  and  the  log  cabin  is  yet  standing 
where  they  first  lived.  Mr.  Van  Kirk,  since  1848,  has  been  a  member  of  the 
Meridian  Sun  Lodge,  No.  76,  A.,  F.  &  A.  M.,  and  has  represented  the  same  in 
the  Grand  Lodge  ;  he  also  belongs  to  the  La  Grange  Chapter,  No.  36,  R.  A.  M., 
of  which  he  was  High  Priest  four  years.  Mrs.  Van  Kirk  was  formerly  Lucre- 
tia  Newell,  and  was  born  in  Wayne  County,  N.  Y.,  January  27,  1828.  She  is 
one  of  eleven  children  born  to  Thomas  B.  and  Lois  (Thurston)  Newell.  The  par- 
ents were  natives  of  New  York,  and  early  pioneers  of  La  Grange  County  ;  his 
birth  occurred  April  15,  1801,  and  hers  December  3,  1802.  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Van  Kirk  have  three  children — Lucretia  I.  (now  Mrs.  McNutt),  Lissa  A.  (now 
Mrs.  McKibbin),  and  David  A.  The  subject's  mother  yet  survives,  and  is  a 
resident  of  Iowa. 

BENJAMIN  W.  VESEY  is  one  of  six  children  in  the  family  of  William 
and  Adaline  (Copeland)  Vesey,  natives  of  Orange  County,  Vt.,  where  also  the 
subject  was  born  February  8,  1829.  William  Vesey,  in  1835,  emigrated  to 
Lake  County,  Ohio,  thence  to  Elkhart  County,  Ind.,  in  1838.  Here  he  bought 
120  acres  of  land  that  he  subsequently  sold,  removing  to  a  farm  near  Goshen. 
He  was  a  Democrat,  and,  in  1862,  was  elected  Sheriff  of  Elkhart  County  ; 
served  in  the  late  war  as  a  private  some  time,  but  afterward  was  detailed  in  the 
Commissary  Department  until  he  was  discharged.  October  3,  1872,  he  died  at 
his  home,  and  being  a  member  of  the  A.,  F.  &  A.  M.,  was  buried  with  Masonic 
honors.  Benjamin  Vesey  received  a  fair  education,  and  one  year  attended  the 
University  at  Greencastle,  Ind.  In  1849,  he  went  overland  with  an  ox  team 
to  California,  where  he  was  engaged  in  mining  and  teaming  until  1851,  when 
he  returned  to  Indiana,  and  bought  a  farm  in  Lima  Township,  this  county  ; 
sold  in  1855,  and  bought  one  in  Springfield  Township  in  1857,  removing  in 
1864  to  La  Grange,  and  settling  on  his  present  farm  of  365  acres  in  1865.  In 
1853,  February  8,  he  married  Sarah  P.  Waterhouse,  the  daughter  of  Joseph 
and  Esther  (Penley)  Waterhouse,  natives  of  Maine,  and  parents  of  nine  children. 
Sarah  P.  was  born  in  Androscoggin  County,  Me.,  February  26,  1836.  Mr. 
and  Mrs.  Vesey  have  a  family  of  five  children,  viz.,  George  E.,  William  J., 
Allen  J.,  Charles  E.  and  John  H.  Mr.  Vesey  is  a  Republican,  and  a  leading 
farmer. 


LIMA    TOWNSHIP. 

CHARLES  L.  ATWATER  was  born  in  Luzerne  County,  Penn.,  April 
11, 1843,  son  of  Thomas  S.  and  Hannah  (Enoes)  Atwater,  natives  of  the  Empire 
State.  They  were  married  in  Pennsylvania,  and  removed  to  this  township  in 
1855.     In  their  family  were  four  sons — Myron,  Charles  L.,  John  E.  and  Mon- 


LIMA  TOWNSHIP.  311 

roe.  The  father  was  a  blacksmith,  but  in  this  State  followed  farming.  He 
was  a  Democrat,  a  strong  Union  man  and  a  Christian.  He  amassed  a  com- 
fortable fortune,  and  died  in  1870,  and  his  wife  in  1875.  Charles  L.  was 
reared  upon  a  farm  and  received  a  fair  education.  At  majority  he  began 
farming  for  himself  After  three  years  he  erected  a  saw-mill  in  Van  Buren 
Township,  and  after  two  years  moved  it  to  Newbury  Township,  where  he  suc- 
cessfully operated  it  some  four  years  longer.  He  then  sold  out,  came  to  Lima, 
and  engaged  in  the  furniture  trade.  He  was  burned  out  in  1878,.  and  the  same 
year  erected  two  two-story  brick  business  rooms  in  Lima,  one  of  which  he  now 
occupies  as  a  furniture  sales  room.  He  keeps  a  good  line  of  goods,  and  is  steadily 
increasing  his  business.  He  owns  160  acres  of  land  in  Van  Buren  Township, 
and  a  nice  residence  in  Lima.  He  was  married  to  Miss  Sarah  Boor,  Septem- 
ber 8,  1870  ;  a  native  of  Illinois,  and  born  July  4,  1850.  Three  children  have 
been  born  to  them — Artimus  S.,  Gussie  and  Jennie  M. 

HENRY  H.  BASSLER,  son  of  John  and  Barbara  (Hostettler)  Bassler, 
natives  of  Lancaster  County,  Penn.,  and  descendants  of  Swiss  ancestors.  Henry 
H.  was  born  in  Lancaster  County,  Penn.,  August  18,  1824,  but  his  parents  dying 
when  he  was  a  boy  he  resided  with  relatives  until  manhood,  working  at  farm- 
ing. He  received  but  a  common-school  education,  and  November  11,  1845,  was 
married  to  Elizabeth  Rohrer,  born  in  Washington  County,  Md.,  July  11,  1824. 
Soon  after  Mr.  Bassler  moved  to  Erie  County,  Penn.,  where  he  resided  until  the 
spring  of  1860,  and  then  removed  to  La  Grange  County,  locating  in  Green- 
field, where  he  lived  until  1868,  and  then  moved  to  Lima.  Mr.  Bassler  has 
always  followed  farming,  with  the  exception  of  seven  years,  when  he  was  en- 
gaged in  grain  trade.  He  owns  108  acres  of  good  land,  besides  valuable  town 
property  in  Lima.  He  has,  by  his  own  endeavors,  worked  his  way  from  a  poor 
boy  to  a  substantial  citizen.  In  politics  he  is  a  Republican,  and  has  held  va- 
rious township  positions.  He  and  wife  are  the  parents  of  three  children — Ja- 
cob R.,  Aaron  C.  and  Susan  H.  Only  the  last  named  is  now  living.  She  is 
the  wife  of  John  Lazenby,  and  resides  in  Lima  Township. 

PETER  BEISEL,  son  of  Peter  and  Mary  (Carver)  Beisel,  natives  of 
Pennsylvania,  where  they  were  raised  and  married.  The  father  was  a  hatter, 
and  soon  after  his  marriage  engaged  in  mercantile  pursuits  in  Gettysburg,  Penn., 
but  at  the  end  of  a  few  years  removed  to  Baltimore,  where  he  met  with  business 
reverses,  and  in  1830  came  to  White  Pigeon,  Mich.,  and  the  succeeding  year 
moved  his  family  there,  where  they  ever  afterward  made  their  home.  Mr. 
Beisel  had  accumulated  considerable  property  at  the  time  of  his  death,  in  1839. 
He  and  wife  had  four  sons  and  one  daughter.  The  subject  of  this  biography 
was  born  in  Adams  County,  Penn.,  February  26, 1814.  He  lived  at  home  until 
about  twenty-two  years  old.  In  1837,  he  came  to  Lexington,  in  Greenfield 
Township,  and  engaged  in  mercantile  business  with  A.  K.  Brower.  In  1848, 
he  sold  out  and  then  erected  a  grist-mill.  In  1853,  he  sold  this  and  purchased, 
where  he  now  lives,  420  acres  of  fine  farming  and  grazing  land.  Mr. 
Beisel  is  a  Republican,  was  formerly  a  Whig,  served  in  the  Black  Hawk  war, 
and  was  the  first  Postmaster  at  Lexington.  He  was  married,  August  18, 1839, 
to  Margaret  Ellison,  born  in  Ireland  August  10,  1816.  To  them  were  born 
ten  children — Mary  S.,  Margaret  A.,  Julia  L.,  Rebecca,  Andrew  M.,  Thomas 
J.,  living;  and  Sarah  J.,  Elizabeth  F.,  Francis  J.  and  George  W.,  deceased. 
Mrs.  Beisel  died  February  24,  1871. 

SAMUEL  BURNELL  is  one  of  the  oldest  resident  citizens  in  the 
county,  born  in  Yorkshire,  England,  December  24,  1809.     His  parents,  Will- 


312  BIOGRAPHICAL    SKETCHES: 

iam  and  Hannah  (Haller)  Burnell,  were  natives  of  Yorkshire,  and  had  a  fam- 
ily of  twelve  children.  In  1829,  our  subject  emigrated  to  the  United  States, 
and  for  about  a  year  worked  by  the  month  for  John  Coats,  a  farmer  near  White 
Pigeon,  Mich.  In  1830,  Thomas  Burnell,  a  brother  of  Samuel,  came  to  the 
United  States,  and  soon  after  the  two  brothers  went  to  Greenfield  Township, 
where  Samuel  pre-empted  160  acres  of  land  on  English  Prairie.  About  this 
time,  the  parents  emigrated  to  this  country  and  located  at  White  Pigeon,  where, 
in  1837,  the  father  died,  aged  seventy-three  years,  and  his  wife  three  3'ears 
later,  aged  sixty-five.  Samuel  worked  on  a  farm  and  at  the  carpenter's  trade 
some  years  after  coming  to  this  county,  investing  his  savings  in  land.  He 
lived  upon  his  farm  in  Greenfield  Township  some  twenty-five  years,  with  the 
exception  of  the  years  1836  and  1837,  which  he  spent  as  contractor  and  builder 
in  Milwaukee,  Wis.  In  1862,  he  rented  his  farm  and  moved  to  Lima.  April 
4,  1839,  he  married  Miss  Mary  A.  Mason,  born  in  New  York  State,  Novem- 
ber 29,  1817.  They  have  three  children — Ellen,  John  and  Jennie.  Mr.  Bur- 
nell helped  to  organize  and  was  a  director  of  the  Indiana  State  Bank,  of  Lima, 
and  is  a  large  stockholder  in  the  present  Lima  Bank.  He  is  a  Republican,  a 
member  of  the  Episcopal  Church,  and  a  most  worthy  citizen. 

DANIEL  W.  COLE  was  born  in  Wayne  County,  N.  Y.,  August  22, 
1822,  a  son  of  Peter  J.  and  Amy  (Corwin)  Cole,  natives  of  the  Empire  State, 
where  they  were  married,  and  in  1830  moved  to  near  Detroit,  Mich.,  which 
became  their  old  home.  The  father  was  a  farmer,  and  a  hard-working,  sober 
and  well-respected  citizen.  Daniel  W.  is  one  of  five  children.  When  but  a  small 
boy  his  mother  died,  and  at  the  age  of  nineteen  he  left  home  and  began  life's 
battle  on  his  own  responsibility.  In  1840,  he  came  to  Lima,  purchased  a 
threshing  machine,  and  for  twenty  seasons  followed  threshing.  After  some 
time,  by  close  economy,  he  was  enabled  to  purchase  a  small  piece  of  land.  He 
has  increased  his  acres,  and  now  owns  400  well-improved  in  Lima  Township, 
and  110  acres  in  St.  Joseph  County,  Mich.  He  was  married  to  Melonia 
Stevens,  November  26,  1846,  a  native  of  Orleans  County,  N.  Y.,  born  March 
2,  1826.  They  had  five  children— Byron  J.,  Amelia  E.,  Lydia,  Celia  and 
Cora.  Mr.  Cole  is  a  member  the  Baptist  Church,  and  a  Republican.  When 
he  came  to  Lima  his  wealth  consisted  in  25  cents,  a  good  constitution,  and  a 
determination  to  be  somebody.  His  present  circumstances  illustrate  his  success 
in  life. 

REV.  CHRISTOPHER  CORY  is  one  of  the  oldest  settlers  and  best 
known  citizens  in  the  connty.  He  was  born  January  13,  1800,  at  Westfield, 
N.  J.,  and  is  one  of  eight  children  born  to  Benjamin  and  Susanna  (Denman) 
Cory,  also  natives  of  New  Jersey.  The  father  was  for  many  years  an  Elder  in 
the  Presbyterian  Church.  Christopher  Cory  was  reared  upon  a  farm,  and  up 
to  twenty-one  years  of  age,  had  received  but  a  good  common-school  education. 
He  then  entered  an  academy  preparatory  to  the  study  of  theology.  He  was 
licensed  to  preach  when  twentv-six  years  of  age,  and  one  year  later  was  ordained 
a  minister  of  the  Presbyterian  Church.  Soon  after,  he  was  assigned  a  charge 
in  a  mining  district  of  Pennsylvania,  where  he  labored  some  time,  and  then 
went  to  Orange  County,  N.  Y.  In  1832,  he  was  sent  by  the  Home  Missionary 
Society  of  the  Presbyterian  Church  as  an  evangelist  to  labor  among  the  In- 
dians and  early  settlers  of  Southern  Michigan  and  Northern  Indiana.  He 
began  at  Lima,  Ind.,  and  at  the  end  of  the  fourth  year  was  able  to  report  to 
the  society  the  organization  of  eight  churches.  He  continued  to  work  until 
1848,  when  from  a  throat  difficulty  he  was  compelled  to  quit  active  service.   In 


LIMA   TOWNSHIP.  313 

1827,  he  married  Miss  Mary  H.  Baker,  born  in  Westfield,  N.  J.,  May  2,  1801. 
To  this  union  were  born  four  children — William  B.,  James  R.,  Mary  P.  and 
Henry  M.  Mrs.  Cory  died  April  13,  1877 ;  she  was  a  most  worthy  Christian 
lady.  Mr.  Cory  lives  with  a  son  upon  the  old  homestead,  and  has  the  respect 
of  all  who  know  him. 

JOHN  CRAIG  (deceased),  one  of  the  old  pioneers  of  La  Grange  County, 
Ind.,  was  born  in  Pennsylvania  December  23,  1784,  and  was  there  reared  to 
manhood.  He  married  Miss  Jane  Derr,  who  was  born  in  the  same  State  in 
1796,  and  to  them  were  born  the  following  children  :  James,  Esther,  Joseph, 
Serena,  John,  Robert  and  Mary.  In  1835,  they  left  their  native  State  and 
started  West  to  obtain  a  new  home.  They  stopped  one  year  in  Crawford  County, 
Ohio ;  then  came  to  La  Grange  County,  and  located  on  the  farm  now  owned  by 
Augustus  Hamilton  in  Lima  Township.  The  country  at  that  time  was  an  almost 
unbroken  forest  with  wild  animals  in  abundance.  Mr.  Craig  was  a  poor  man 
when  he  arrived  here,  but  went  to  work  with  success.  He  had  the  confidence 
and  respect  of  his  friends  and  neighbors.  He  died  December  1.  1875,  at  the 
advanced  age  of  ninety-one  years.  His  widow  yet  survives  him  and  resides  in 
Lima  Township  at  the  age  of  eighty-six  years.  The  following  are  sketches  of 
four  of  the  sons  : 

James  Craig  was  born  in  Columbia  County,  Penn.,  April  1,  1820.  He 
was  reared  on  a  farm  and  assisted  his  parents  in  their  labors.  He  always  lived 
with  his  parents,  and  in  this  way  the  father  and  sons  worked  together,  but  now 
the  sons  each  own  separate  farms.  James  owns  160  acres  of  good  land.  He 
is  a  Republican,  a  member  of  the  Baptist  Church,  and  an  enterprising  citizen. 

Joseph  Craig  was  born  September  23,  1823,  in  Columbia  County,  Penn., 
and,  in  1836,  came  with  his  parents  to  this  county  where  he  has  since  resided. 
He  received  a  common-school  education,  and  February  1,  1855,  married  Miss 
Louisa  R.  Stevens,  born  in  Orleans  County,  N.  Y.,  February  28,  1833.  To 
this  union  were  born  two  children — Edith  L.  and  James  E.  The  mother  died 
May  1,  1881.  She  was  a  good  wife,  a  kind  and  loving  mother  and  a  Christian. 
Her  death  was  mourned  by  a  large  circle  of  friends.  Joseph  Craig  is  a  Repub- 
lican. He  owns  100  acres  of  well-improved  land,  and  is  a  successful  farmer  of 
Lima  Township. 

John  F.  D.  Craig  was  born  in  Columbia  County,  Penn.,  April  17,  1830, 
and  was  reared  upon  a  farm,  and  received  his  education  in  the  log  schoolhouse. 
He  was  united  in  marriage  with  Miss  Augusta  L.  Bishop  January  20,  1857, 
who  was  born  in  Dutchess  County,  N.  Y.,  March  29,  1832.  To  them  have  been 
born  four  children,  viz.,  Edward  D.,  Gertrude  A.  and  Edith  M.,  living;  and 
Frances  E.,  deceased.  Mr.  Craig  owns  236  acres  of  well-improved  land.  He 
raises  good  stock  of  all  kinds,  and  is  a  practical  and  successful  farmer  in  Lima 
Township.  He  is  a  Republican,  and  he  and  wife  are  hospitable,  public-spirited 
people. 

Robert  Craig  was  born  in  Columbia  County,  Penn.,  and  reared  in  Lima 
Township.  He  married  Miss  Jennette  Keith  December  12, 1865,  who  was  born 
in  Lima  Township  March  3,  1843,  a  daughter  of  Sidney  and  Sophia  (Wilder) 
Keith,  who  were  among  the  first  settlers  of  the  county.  Robert  Craig  followed 
farming,  and  was  much  respected.  He  died  September  27,  1877.  To  him  and 
wife  were  born  two  children,  viz.,  Alton  K.  and  Jennie  J.  Mrs.  Craig  resides 
upon  the  old  homestead,  and  is  a  lady  of  social  and  moral  worth.  The  Craig 
family  stand  well  in  the  county,  and  are  appreciated  for  their  unassuming  ways, 
goodness  of  heart,  and  strict  integrity. 


314  '  BIOGRAPHICAL    SKETCHES: 

JOHN  CRAIG.  This  gentleman  was  born  in  Columbia  County,  Penn., 
February  1,  1826.  He  is  the  son  of  Joseph  and  Sarah  Craig,  both  natives  of 
the  Keystone  State.  John  was  reared  upon  a  farm,  receiving  a  common-school 
education,  and  December  26,  1865,  was  united  in  marriage  to  Miss  Sarah  A. 
Johnston.  She  was  born  in  the  same  county  as  her  husband,  June  5,  1829. 
To  them  have  been  born  two  children,  viz.:  Sarah  E.  and  Joseph  S.  In 
1857,  came  to  this  county,  which  he  has  since  made  his  home.  He  began  life 
as  a  poor  boy  and  is  a  self-made  man.  He  is  a  Democrat,  but  liberal  in  his 
views.     He  owns  160  acres  of  good  land  and  is  a  respected  and  useful  citizen. 

WILLIAM  CRAIG  was  born  in  Columbia  County,  Penn,,  November  5, 
1827,  a  son  of  Joseph  and  Sarah  Craig.  His  father  was  born  in  North- 
umberland County,  Penn.,  in  1800,  and  his  mother  in  Luzerne  County, 
Penn.,  in  1797.  They  were  reared  and  married  in  their  native  State, 
and  to  them  were  born  three  sons  and  three  daughters.  Joseph  Craig 
was  a  farmer  and  an  honorable  man ;  he  died  in  1845,  but  his  widow 
is  yet  living.  William  Craig  received  only  a  common-school  education. 
On  the  death  of  his  father  he  took  charge  of  the  home  farm,  and  has  since 
cared  for  his  aged  mother,  who  lives  with  him  as  does  also  a  sister.  In  1854, 
he  first  came  to  Lima,  Ind.,  but  after  two  years  returned,  and  in  1857  brought 
his  mother  here,  where  he  purchased  240  acres  of  la